Once upon a time, 8 year old me was at my favorite Christian book store to see a small acoustic set some artist was doing. (This artist was Joy Williams, who would later form the Civil Wars and go on to sing with Taylor Swift in the Hunger Games soundtrack, as well as with Hayley Williams. I'm so proud. But that's irrelevant.) I had a great time of course, and after the show my dad bought me a Christian magazine with Joy on it so I could have it signed. I loved that magazine and I read it up and down almost every day. But the first time I read it, a certain picture caught my eye. It was of another artist, by the same of Krystal Meyers. 8 year old me just stared at her picture. She was frowning and just seemed so...sad. Beneath it, there was an article explaining how at 18 young Krystal Meyers had gone to camp and read the verse, Romans 12:2 and then afterwards, went on to write her hit song "Anticonformity."
I had never read that verse nor heard the song, but once I read that article I knew I had to do both. So I did; and immediately I had a new favorite song and bible verse. I had my mom explain to me what they meant, but still, I was young and couldn't fully grasp what it was I was saying. But ever since then, Romans 12:2 has been my favorite.
If you don't know it, it says this. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is; which is good, acceptable, and perfect."
I bring this up because Romans 12 is actually one of my favorite chapters ever, and that second verse has been brought up in my life a lot. Really, if there was one verse that went with my entire life; it would be that one. So lately I've been taking that verse apart and trying to get a new angle on it, and to explore why this is my verse. I guess this verse has been on my mind a lot because there a lot of areas in my life where I have been tempted to conform. But it was so subtle that I didn't notice it at first. I had good, solid reasons for conformity; I could reasonably justify it. But I'm starting to realize that God wants more for me than that.
One thing we talked about in the bible study I was attending is American values vs. Godly values. That was so weird to hear; like, yes there are areas in which they're the same, but there are so many values that are highly sought after by Americans and yet frowned upon by God. Things such as independence and self righteousness; that whole "Take care of #1. You." attitude. I realized that I could adopt a whole set of wrong beliefs and still be praised by the people around me, because it would be in the norm. Even among my Christian friends. That frightened me a bit. See, we are told to be different. And seriously, I have no idea why this concept just hit me because I have heard it my whole life. But I guess now it's just more real.
I'm a hug people pleaser. If I can't make everyone happy, I'm miserable. So I'm often tempted to conform by setting aside my beliefs to sound good to other people. Even if I don't agree. I don't like rocking the boat. But that's not how I'm supposed to be. Again, the sad truth is, this mostly happens with my Bible believing friends. But in my belief system, I can't afford to be wishy washy. There has got to be a firm distinction between Godly and American values. I don't want to associate myself with something just to be called "cool." I think that's the big thing for me; wanting to be a "Cool Christian." You know? There are like, hard core Conservative Christians who are all like "You can't watch Harry Potter" and "your shorts have to be knee length." But then you've got your "Cool Christians." And they swear and support gay rights and think "what's good for you is good for you." Because it looks good to unbelievers. And I've sort of been telling myself that's okay. But its justified. Because if I swore, non believers would be more willing to listen, because I speak their language, and if I was supportive of trans people then they would think I was awesome and maybe I could witness to them. But we are not supposed to be well liked. Literally, people hated Jesus when He was on Earth. He said we would be hated too. It's expected. We're different.
I don't want to settle. I don't want to be okay with the way are living if I think it's wrong. I don't want to set aside my beliefs to be in the in crowd. There are so many areas I think of when I say this; like modesty; how do I feel about wearing bikinis? Cussing? My choice in entertainment? Boundaries in relationships with members of the opposite sex? There are a lot of issues in the bible that are debatable and people have to develop what they believe about them, and for me, I don't want to settle for less than God designed. I want to live a Godly life. And if that means living a less than cool life, so be it.
Honestly, this post didn't go the way I wanted it to and I'm too tired to re write it. I hope I made sense.
Also, what do you think of the new design? It's not finished yet because there are a few problems, but yeah. I've got a lot of blog ideas and crap floating around in my head to sort out, but also I'm leaving for camp on Sunday so you can expect blog silence for a week that will probably be broken by a massive post.
That's all for today. May the Force be with you!