You: The cultural observer

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Yesterday we talked about the idea that friending the world means un-friending God. (If you missed it, or if that statement leaves you scratching your head, you can review it here.)

Sociologist Robert Bellah says that “just where we [modern people] think we are most free, we are most coerced by the dominant beliefs of our culture.”*

That’s why we need to be deliberate and ask ourselves questions like these: ‘Am I just blinding adopting the values and priorities of the culture around me, or am I being deliberate? Am I specifically seeking the ways of God?’

I encourage you to take a few days to simply be a cultural observer. As you have conversations, and as you listen to the radio and news, and as you watch Netflix, and as you listen to what is said in the workplace or at school, and as you listen to the government make announcements…

see if you can notice any patterns about what our society values.

Some will seem positive; others, not so much. Just make a mental list. Think about which values go against God’s word, and which are in harmony with his word.

Simple-yet-deliberate observation can be a significant step in living a life that is less naïve and more faithful in the footsteps of Jesus.

It’s easier to be duped if you think the society around you is neutral.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

By Matthew Ruttan

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on November 16.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–This is from Bellah’s book Habits of the Heart. As quoted in: Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical (New York: Viking, 2016), 128.

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