At some point in our lives, we must all decide if we are going to conform to the world’s expectations for our lives or rebel against them. For many of us this decision comes in high school. We are met with so many decisions on every level of who we are. Will I accept what I’ve been taught? How will I dress? Who will I spend my time with?
As a young man, I studied both Ecclesiastes the words of Jesus and came to the conclusion that what the world expected of me isn’t what God was calling me to. The world wants us to be part of the machine of gathering and storing up treasures for ourselves. The world expects us to focus on the here and now. The world looks for pleasure only in the things of this world. But Jesus was clear that something is wrong with the world. Sin.
Well, if conformity isn’t the answer then rebellion must be, I thought. So I started to try to live for the next world (heaven) and ignore this one as much as possible. I fasted. I spent much of my time in scripture. I cared less about people’s earthly needs and tried to help them spiritually.
I found that the idea of living for the next world while ignoring this one is impossible. Christ does not call us to conform to this world or to rebel for the sake of rebellion. He calls us to be a part of His kingdom. Being a part of Jesus kingdom means that we don’t conform to what the world expects of us. We conform to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We intentionally love people at our own expense, because Christ did just that for us.