It is easy to conform to others when things are going well, but, at some point, we may find ourselves spiritually derailed. Apostle Peter gives us insight into the issue of conformity and its dangers for our walk with the Lord.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1Peter 1:13-15
Conforming to the lusts of our old nature will take us right back to where we were before we encountered Christ. Our carnal desires have a way of making us conform to get what we want. The old nature may lust for attention, acceptance, power, prestige, etc. Those lusts produce cravings that lead us to conform to a system or a group of people in order to achieve our desires. When things are going well, we don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t conform to others, but even in those times we should refrain from conformity.
The above passage tells us that we are called to live holy lives. We cannot be conformed to our environment and expect to remain holy. Holiness is developed in our intimacy with the Lord, which leads us to make the tough and courageous decisions in living a life pleasing to Him. We can admire people and be mentored by them, but if we try to be like them in order to be accepted, we have become conformists.
If we are going to guard ourselves against false conformity, we need to remain sober and gird up the loins of our minds. For example, when we are sober-minded, we don’t allow ourselves to be impressed with people. Being impressed with people is a trap. I find those who have a tendency to be impressed, set themselves up to deep disappointment later. They put people on a pedestal, conform to their expectations, and when those individuals show signs of weakness or sin, it causes a deep let-down for the person. Sometimes people walk away from the body of Christ because they could not believe one of their leaders was capable of sinning.
Apostle Peter tells us that in our past lives we were ignorant, but we no longer should be ignorant. Ignorance, in this context, is about moral blindness and lack of knowledge. As believers, we are no longer morally and spiritually blind. We know better. We should be aware of how the enemy can use even God’s people to trip us up by making us desire to conform to their demands or expectations. Sooner or later, something will go wrong, and the person who conformed will find themselves feeling used, cheated, and confused. We can’t be ignorant that every believer can fall or can remain carnal regardless of their position or the length of time they have walked with the Lord.
False conformity could be an indication of our hidden desires that lead us to conformity. The Lord knows our needs and desires, and He can provide us with what He knows is best for us. Let’s ask the Lord to show us if we have false conformity in our lives and pray that the Lord would give us the courage to do something about it.