When I look back on my teen years I see a repeating pattern.
In the 1960s, teens had long hair and wore bell-bottom pants with a flowery shirt. The long hair was supposed to be a sign of rebellion against the “establishment.” The evidence, though, shows otherwise. No matter how much we thought our hairstyles and clothes were different, we were all dressing alike. We were conforming to the majority of those our own age.
In a way, we were engaged in a sort of self-deception. We thought that because we looked different, we were different. Actually, we were not nonconformists. On the contrary, we looked like each other. We conformed to the way we thought we should look.
The pull of the sinful world to conform to its ideas remains strong. The world wants to force people into its mold. As Christians, we must never allow the majority in the world to convince us to accept its way of life.
Jesus said, “”You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NASB).
A true child of God does not hide the light. Those who try to keep their Christianity hidden from a world that criticizes religion are not being realistic. As one man wrote, “There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy.”
The true child of God realizes secrecy as a Christian is impossible. Paul told the Philippians, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15 NASB).
Christians must make a stand for the truth of God’s word. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to be overtaken by the world so that we hide our light. Are you a faithful Christian? Is your light on? Or, are you living a life in secret?