Have you ever heard this saying…”If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?”?
I have. Heck, as a parent and a teacher, I’ve used it on more than one occasion.
And when we hear – or use – it, we normally think of peer pressure. Of going to that party or seeing that movie or cheating on that test.
But I believe there’s a more subtle “cliff jump” happening everyday, and we don’t even realize we’re in the air: it’s in our minds, how we think. We allow the world’s standards, their version of what “should be”, to be our standards.
In dating, for example, many Christian teens/young adults have been sucked into the mindset that you should “date around” or “sow your wild oats” when you’re young. Many are told sex before marriage is fine and living together before marriage is beneficial. But God’s word – and divorce statistics – tell us just the opposite. So who do you believe? The mindset of the world or the standards of God?
Adults face this, too: We are told to adopt the “me first” attitude at work and at home. We are told to say “I deserve ________ (whatever we want most).” And, sure, it sounds great. I’d like to believe I deserve a spa day or “me time.” But I don’t “deserve” anything. I would like things. I am refreshed by time alone. But deserve…? I think that is one of the most dangerous words in our vocabulary – it is the complete opposite of the “put the needs of others above yourself” lifestyle that God tells us to live. So what do we choose – the mind of the world, or the mind of Christ?
Ladies (and any gents reading this!), we must be careful that the standards we live by are the standards God has set – not the constantly changing standards of the world. God loves us too much to allow us to damage ourselves by “jumping” after desires that will harm us. Follow Him – the Good Shepherd – to still waters and the greenest of pastures. Stay away from the cliffs and cling to the Rock!
“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.” Romans 12:2