I recently had a conversation with a young relative who works in an office where profanity, nasty jokes, and bizarre religions abound. Every day as she sits behind her desk and diligently does her work, she struggles with the atmosphere. While she enjoys her job and her boss is easy to work for, the days can wear on her. This young person asked for prayer that she would not become like her culture as it can be tempting at times to just give in and adhere to it. She also asked for prayer that she would be a “light” in an increasingly dark world where she is the only Believer in her office.
My relative’s dilemma is not unique. Most of us work in an atmosphere that is contrary, or even hostile at times, to our Christian faith. It’s not a stretch to one day wake up and realize we’ve become just like the ones we spend most of our time with.
We become like our culture when:
There is no difference between us and the world. It’s unfortunately becoming more difficult to differentiate between Christians and those who are not Christians. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.“
We “sell out” for the things that matter to the world, but not to God. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26
We focus on the temporary rather than the eternal. It can be easy to center our attention on things that matter in the “here and now”. It can be tempting to idolize people, fancy cars, money, and things, rather than the One deserving of our worship.
We don’t guard our eyes and hearts against things that could damage our testimony. Social media and the internet, while amazing in so many ways, have opened up a new door to temptation. We must be diligent in praying God would help us to guard our eyes and hearts.
We are afraid to share the Truth of salvation and that it can only be found in Jesus.
We aren’t discerning about who we align ourselves with and/or who we are influenced by. Yes, in order to reach a dying world, we must interact with, be kind to, and befriend those outside of our Christian faith. We are not to live in a bubble. However, when we are closest to those whose behavior is in direct opposition to the Word of God, we may soon find it is their behavior that impacts us, rather than the other way around (1 Corinthians 15:33). In addition, when we don’t practice discernment in the pastors, podcasts, music we listen to, movies we watch, and books we read, we can find ourselves influenced by false theology.
We aren’t mindful of what we share on social media. Does it glorify God? Will what we share cause someone to stumble?
We see the Bible as some in the world see it: an antiquated old book with vintage ideas rather than the Holy Word of God.
We don’t use our sphere of influence for Him. Are we using every opportunity available to us?
When we focus on hopelessness rather than the hope that is found in Him. As Believers, no matter how bad things get in the world around us (and there are some horrific and awful things taking place in our world right now) we have the hope of eternal life. We know it ends well. As such, we can’t live like someone with no hope.
We allow bad habits to manifest into permanency rather than pray for God’s assistance in overcoming them. Bad habits are a challenge and without the Lord’s help and the guidance of fellow Believers, they can be difficult, if not impossible to overcome.
In general, we become our culture when we conform to that culture.
How do we combat becoming like our culture?
Stay steadfast in prayer.
Surround ourselves with Bible-based Believers.
Pray continually for God’s protection (Ephesians 6:10-18) and pray for the protection of fellow Believers.
Keep our focus on Jesus.
Spend time in His Word each day.
Be in this world, but not of it. We reside here, but we needn’t subscribe to the culture’s morals and concepts.
Before you go, check out these other posts:
the power of prayer: surviving Papa’s driving
what to do when it’s difficult to love others
is Forgotten Memories the book for you?
conquering the joy zappers of life
how to start a sisters in Christ group