Romans 12:2 (J.B. Phillips New Testament) Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.

There is this interesting scene from a movie of a grocery store keeper who greatly distrusted politicians believing nothing good comes from them. So, this day, as he was setting up for the day’s business and rambling on about the hypocrisy of politicians, midway through his rant, his assistant called his attention to the expiry date of the dairy products which was due the next day. Without missing a beat the storekeeper asked her to switch the labels with a new one with a more distant expiry date and continued his ranting about the ‘rottenness’ of politicians.

The irony of the moment was lost on the sanctimonious storekeeper who was always filled with righteous indignation. He tried to maintain his moral high ground even though he was as guilty of corruption as the politicians he sorely detested.

Now to the labels. What happened when the storekeepers change those labels is that he is rechristening the products in a way that does not align with reality. He was inadvertently calling bad, good, and convincing his unsuspecting buyers to accept as true what was false.

This is a good analogy for what happens when society keeps shifting the goalpost on various moral issues and pressures the believer to fall in line. You are called a bigot if you believe the claims of the gospel, a misogynist if you uphold the Bible’s teachings on marriage, brainwashed if you believe the Bible is the (written) word of God, intolerant if you believe that Jesus is indeed the (only) way to the Father.

These new labels have been systematically put up to coerce the believer to lower his standards, to open wide his arms to any and every doctrine the world comes up with, and to derail the believer from the path of righteousness. It is a craftily devised strategy to force the believer into the mold of the world system.

Do not accept these labels that seek to make you ashamed to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be gentle as a dove and also wise as a serpent (See Matthew 10:16). Stand firm, unshakable, holding fast to that which you have received of the Lord and unabashedly walking in the light of his word.

Go into today rejoicing that you are a child of God, and that if you are incompatible with the world’s system, so was Jesus.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: Galatians 1-3 (in today’s audio)

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