Several months ago, after officiating a memorial service, a man came to me that I recognized as a former co-worker who I hadn’t seen in many years. We were friends only in passing. As we greeted and exchange acknowledgement of our past acquaintance, he asked a question and made a statement that left me momentarily speechless. First he asked, “How long have I been a Christian?” I answered, "Most of my life." He then said, “I didn’t know because you never did anything to show that you were a believer when we worked together.” Apprehensively I responded, "Did I do anything to offend or behave in an ungodly way around you for you to think otherwise?" He then produced a large smile on his face and said, “I knew you were a Christian by the way you carried yourself at work,” Boy was I relieved. After that encounter, I began to think about all the times I didn’t carry myself in a Christian manner and how many people I may have offended or missed the opportunity to witness too, because I blended into the environment around me.
I remembered reading about Lot in the Bible and how he let his environment shape his life. The Bible tells us that Lot was a religious man, but that he lived for so long among ungodly people in the city of Sodom, that he became content and no longer was a believable witness for God. His environment began to shape him.
How many times have you gone along with the crowd when things going on around you were not appropriate in God’s eyes; hanging out at places where foul language is the norm and the dress code is open to what a person can wear or not wear, looking at movies promoting unhealthy relationships, or hanging out with people of the world and rationalize that you are going to change them, or perhaps just being trap in a work environment you seemly have no control over?
1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
Do those who know you see you as a witness for God, or are you just one of the crowd, blending in unnoticed, a secret service Christian. Lot compromised God’s standards so much he became a weak witness. When he did take a stand no one would listen.
Genesis 19:9 - "But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down."
As Christians we are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world. By submitting to the world standards our witness become as weak as Lot’s witness. It can affect our co-workers, friends and our family opportunity for eternal salvation. When you take a stand will people listen?
Romans 12:2 - "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Posted on Mon, May 25, 2015
by Sam Petitfils