In John 15:19 Jesus said this to his disciples: “you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
To understand what he means, we need to know that in this context the phrase “the world” is a way of speaking about the dominant culture around us which does not live by God’s ways.
With this in mind, Jesus is saying that his followers do not belong to the wayward culture around them; he has chosen them out of that type of existence. As a result, many people in the culture will reject and disdain them.
Is everything in the culture doom and gloom? No. Are there good things in the culture around us? Yes. But everything that shimmers is not gold.
If we are to increasingly love God we need to fall out of love with fitting in. Rick Warren remarks: “those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”* So true!
Why do we want to fit in so much? Are we so insecure that we desperately covet the security we think we’ll get from the approval of other insecure people?
We are to love the people around us—regardless of their beliefs, and regardless of their lifestyle. But our standards, direction and goal is always Jesus.
Fall out of love with fitting in.
–*Rick Warren, What On Earth Am I Here For? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 20.
–Upcoming Break: The Up Devotional will go on pause after August 6, returning September 6. I’ll be on vacation!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.