Deep down we are all very much alike. Some of us cover it up better than others, but we all want to match up and blend in with someone. Most of us want to blend in with everyone. However, even those who choose to stand out in the crowd, tend to try and look like someone. It's comfortable, it's safe, and we think no one will focus on me if I look like everyone else. If you think you don't, consider your time running up and down the highway. I am a firm believer in the magic five. No cop will worry about me if I'm doing 80 in a 75. However, get me in Dallas or Atlanta and all bets are off- I'm doing 85+ like everyone else. Why? Because I'm just following along. We may follow every law on the book, but whether it be a magic five or following the flow of the busy folks, we think no one will care because, "everyone else is doing it'. Trends in fashion, speech, and beliefs are the same. They depend on peoples tendency to just "go along". I am convinced if we could break that mindset, modern art and fashion would go bankrupt, but that's just my opinion.
Paul, in our Romans text, speaks to this issue. The very fact that this is so tempting is scripturally taught. It is in our fallen nature to just repeat what we see and hear. This is probably the most easily seen in Israel's tendency to repeat the same issues over and over again. Their biggest sin, and what eventually brought their destruction, was wanting to look like everyone else. They wanted a king like everyone else, even with the Lord telling them that is a bad idea (1 Samuel 8). They wanted gods like everyone else, and worshiped them. These things ought not be. Paul tells us it will be easy for us to be conformed to the image of this world. It is the natural effect of living in this world. To be conformed is to be pressed into the mold you are in. It is of no effort of your own to be conformed- it is surrendering to be pressed into the mold, and be found in the same shape and condition. It may look tempting and shiny to be like everyone else. We tend to, however, have a very small angle view. We see the pretty shape of the cookie cutter and think it would be nice to not just be a blob of unshapened dough. Yet, the reality is, they only want us in the mold so we can be thrown in the fire and forced to stay in that shape. Any effort to change only leaves us broken. The world right now is applying major pressure to get you to conform to their idea of Christianity, morality, and thinking. Paul warns us to be aware of this pressure and not allow it to happen to us.
Rather, Paul tells us to, instead, be transformed. Be changed completely. We are, by nature, the children of wrath. We are, by nature, given to sin and following the track of this world. Paul tells us to be different- Changed into the child of God that God has called us to be. Be the child of God He has made us able to be- by the daily renewing of your mind, you can be who He has called you to be. While we would like to think God would do all of this for us, Paul tells us WE must renew our minds. Renew them daily in His word. Renew them daily in prayer. Renew them daily in walking with the Lord. You do not have to conform to the world to be like someone. You do not have to follow the path of least resistance to follow the crowd. Scripture is full of examples to follow (Hebrews 12:1). Hebrews chapter 11 is full of examples of men, women, and adolescents of all types and backgrounds being different, but the same. One of my favorites is the other text I shared above. Daniel is the perfect example of what this is supposed to look like. He and his friends were under immense pressure to blend in and be conformed to the image of the Chaldeans. The text given is a renewing moment for him. It is when Daniel purposed in his own heart that he would not go along. He did not fight the system, he didn't make a scene, he simply said he would not be changed. He was transformed from a Jew in captivity to a man of God, living for Him, right where he was. That is what we are called on to do. If we want to look like someone, look like Christ. Be like all the men and women of God, of old.
May God bless you all to live, walk, talk, and praise like Christ. Be strong in your faith and learn to help others.