Contemplating Conformity

When did I start blending in? I know when I was in school, I never cared to fit in. I enjoyed being different from everyone else, even though it meant that I had few friends.

Somewhere along the way of getting into the work world, getting married, and having kids, I now find myself stuck in a river of people, all going and doing the same things.

I find myself contemplating my conformity after reading Radical by David Platt. I’ve gotten sucked into the subtly dangerous American Dream. As he puts it, “While the goal of the American Dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God.” (pg. 47) Even as Christians, we can all get so caught up in our accomplishments, wealth, and delusions of self-importance that we forget what our true mission is and we forget to include God in any of our planning. We blend in with the rest of society and dilute the true message of the Bible to make it more palatable to others.

I see how I am especially prone to conformity at work, where I find that I value a steady paycheck more than my faith; an unfortunate truth I loathe to admit. I’m so worried about taking care of myself and my family that I leave no room for God’s provision in my life. I don’t stand up for things I know aren’t right because I don’t fully trust in the God that I say I believe in.

Do I not trust God because I am fearful, stubborn, or ignorant? Perhaps it’s a bit of them all. I am fearful to trust because human sinfulness has broken my trust in the past. Because I’m afraid, I am stubborn about releasing control of my life to another, even to a good and loving God. Perhaps my ignorance of all that the Bible says God is causes me to be fearful and stubborn. And so, the deadly cycle goes on.

I need to break this cycle by first tackling the ignorance. I need to earnestly seek after the Lord, through His Word. As I begin to learn and understand more about the nature of God, the fear to trust will subside. As the fear subsides, the stubbornness to let go will melt away. It is my hope that with a correct trust in God, I will be free to be the radical, true Christian He calls us all to be.

What about you?

If, like me, you have God trust issues, I invite you to find a Bible reading plan (plenty to be found online) and read through the Bible with me. Post a comment to let me know you’re joining in.

If you’re now in a place where you trust God, I invite you to share a bit of your journey in the comments section.

God bless!

Love, Dove: messages in my chocolate

Someone at work brought in Dove chocolates the other day. I find it interesting that they’ve chosen to incorporate messages on the insides of the wrappers. I’m sure it’s a marketing strategy to get people to buy more, but it makes me think just how easy it can be to spread an encouraging word to others around us.

I thought it would be fun to post my “Love, Dove” messages. Yes, I probably ate too many, but sometimes ya gotta just go for it!

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Clear your mind, and enjoy this moment.
  • Feel good about today.
  • Sing along with the elevator music. (This would be easier to do if there was actually an elevator in my office building…LOL.)
  • Follow your instincts.
  • Encourage your sense of daring.
  • Be mischievous. It feels good.

I find that with this busy pace of life, I don’t think to encourage those around me. I’m usually too tired or stressed out and, instead, tear them down in my anger and frustration. I spend my waking moments hung up on all that I have to do that I get tunnel vision and don’t think about others, especially those closest to me. Sometimes, just a quick email or text to let someone know you’re thinking about them or a little note in a lunch box can go a long way to encouraging someone else. I can’t remember the last time I put a note in my husband’s lunch box, so maybe it’s time for one. 🙂

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

We should all try to widen our field of vision and encourage others. I’m sure the others around me feel just as busy, tired, or stressed as I am. That little bit of encouragement I can freely provide – without expecting anything in return – is something that could really change the course of another person’s day.

What is your favorite way to give encouraging words to someone you know? Who will you encourage this week?