Friday, September 12, 2008

An Original

Don’t become so
well-adjusted to your
culture that you fit
into it without
even thinking.

Romans 12:2a

Caught in a circle of friends Trevor found it difficult to say “no” to anything they proposed. If you asked the question, “Who are you?” he would declare himself independent and free thinking, unaffected by peer pressure but his decisions about how to live were evidence to the contrary. It was clear that at the core of his being was an uncertainty about identity, and so adjusting to the culture was much easier--it didn’t take a whole lot of thought. Besides, he needed friends.

There is a great deal of pressure to be identical to everyone else. While the culture may tout originality take a look around. From tattoos to handbags to expensive cars to haircuts there is more imitation and conforming than uniqueness.

Jesus followers are called to be unique different from the culture. What that demands of us is serious thinking about how each of us will accomplish that goal. Every day we are confronted with “norms” that at the outset were off center but over time quickly became enmeshed in the culture. Consequently, creating a distinction about what makes living the Jesus way unique has become more and more of a challenge.

Living with a heightened awareness of one’s culture isn’t a bad practice for the Jesus follower. Daily asking questions about the impact on one’s spirit and spiritual life as a result of TV shows, magazines, advertisements or friends keeps us thinking about how we should live. In a culture of sameness, the life of a Jesus follower should be attractive by its originality.

Jesus, you avoided cultural traps
staying focused on Your purpose.
It was Your originality that attracted crowds.
Help me stay alert to anything
that keeps me from being an
original for You.
Artwork--Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci

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