As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 1 Peter 1:14. ESV
Every pastor is familiar with this scenario all too well when it comes to the transformation process of a new believer. Joy at conversion. The weight of the world is lifted off of their shoulders. Hunger and thirst for all the new that is found in Jesus and his children. Pressure comes in some way and the person responds in one of their former destructive ways such as an anger outburst. The conviction of sin is different now and they choose to pull away from the body of believers a little at a time. Old friends are comfortable like your favorite leather shoe. Eventually they return to the old pattern of living. Managing miserable.
Conformed in greek is : suschématizó. Its a compound word of sun which means “to be identified with” and sxēmatizō which is “to form an outward shape” such as using a mold to create the same shape again and again.
Even though we have a good mental image of this phrase, it does not connect with us emotionally as well as the phrase “peer pressure”. We can all remember doing something just because our friends were doing it, even if we did not want to do it. Eventually these patterns became your desires also. In many ways it appears that your brain has programmed your actions based on responses to the urges and passions that you feel. You are in a RUT.
How do we keep from “slipping back” into routines that are familiar to us? How can we help people through the transformation into “newness of life”? Is this only a job for the Holy Spirit, who is the key to the new birth and new life? Is there a missing teaching or action in our discipleship methodology?
According to Jesus teaching on the seed and the sower only 1 out of 4 people groups actually make it into the full blessings of the new life. Peter gives an admonition without and any instructions on how to accomplish this task of not returning. Essentially, he is saying “just don’t live like that anymore.”
Over the next few blogs, we will address the implications of “not conforming”. Today, just ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to any of your actions that flow in the direction of “what everyone else is doing”. Freedom is possible. For Christians this world is not our home…we are just passing through.
Blessings Love y’all