Don’t conform, Paul tells us in Romans 12.
Don’t fit in to fit in. Don’t let the world shape you into its image.
We hear this word, and in all of our zealous evangelicalism, we think we know what must come next.
We will not conform.
We will reject.
We will stand out to stand out.
We will draw lines and build walls and start Facebook fights to keep the world out.
Out of our lives. Out of our homes. Out of our churches.
Our call is not rejection, not wall-building, not (dare I say it?) Facebook-fighting.
Our call is to be transformed.
To allow ourselves to be fundamentally altered by Jesus.
To allow our minds to be renewed.
Renewal doesn’t always mean rejection.
Sometimes it means building bridges instead of burning them.
Transformation doesn’t necessarily mean standing out. Sometimes it means standing in.
Sometimes it means sharing a story, meeting a practical need, or extending an invitation.
Often, I think, it means just listening.
Just being there in all your hot-mess-fundamentally-altered-by-Jesus self.
Without an agenda.
This week, friends, I am praying for transformation.
For fewer lines and more stories.
For fewer walls and more listening.
For less standing out and more standing in.