Stand out from the crowd
The life of a believer should look so much different than that of the world that you should “not fit in.”
I’ve heard the argument that you should try fit in so you can make new friends and lead them to Christ. Although this is partially true, in that you should love everyone you encounter with a passionate and welcoming love, you are not called to conform to the world around you in order to fit in.
Romans 12:2 says…
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I think about modern day Christian music artists, and also ones I’ve seen in the past, who denounce their Christian title in order to reach a broader audience. While in a sense, I can’t judge where their hearts are, I am smart enough to realize many do this in order to broaden their success, not their audience. Because let’s face it, anything saturated in Christ isn’t popular in our sin-soaked society. When these talented artists “put away” some of their Christian title, they lose a severe amount of effectiveness.
Our lives are supposed to look like Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:12 tells us we are supposed to follow Christ. And if Christians are following Him, our lives should produce beautiful fruit.
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8
So, the production of fruit in your life will show that you do indeed follow Christ.
Although you do not become a Christian by “moral goodness”, fruit WILL be evident if your heart is after the Lord.
Plain and simple, a believer cannot live in sin. While yes, you will struggle with it, you cannot live in it. That’s why Christ mentions repentance (which is a turning away from sin) so much in the Bible.
As a 17-year-old, I’ve struggled with sin enough to know that living in and loving it will pull you far away from where God wants you. When you are more concerned with self-satisfaction than with pursuing God’s plan for you, you begin to miss out on some beautiful blessings. I’m not saying that you MUST be completely innocent, because as humans, it is inevitable that will see fallible. But the important thing is that you’re seeking truth. Seeking truth will result in identity in Christ, the production of fruit, and the abstinence of indwelling sin. These are three critical attributes of an effective believer.