In the world, we are bombarded with messages that tell us who we should be. The world tells us what it thinks is okay and not okay…
And we listen.
This Christian listens.
But the listening needs to stop.
We need to turn away from what the world tells us to be.
In Hollywood, everyone should be a size XS, have an adoring husband/wife (plus maybe a guy or girl on the side), and have wads of cash lying around.
I’ve highlighted some things society tells certain groups and also what the reality of each lie is.
Society tells women:
- They’re lazy if they are stay-at-home moms. (Truth: All woman have the God-given desire to nurture, but some women ignore this desire and pursue a career instead. Stay-at-home moms have the most important, demanding job because they’re raising the next generation.)
- They’re fat if they’re not 110 pounds and wear a size 2. (Truth: Most women weigh well over 110 pounds. Don’t let their yoga pants fool you. When you see a woman wearing Nikes, she probably hasn’t been running in the park. She’s probably been running to the fridge.)
- They’re weak if they can’t do everything a man can do. (Truth: Men and woman were created differently. Women aren’t as tough as they’d like to appear. Also, if women want to seem more masculine, they should stop wearing leggings as pants and stop wearing shorty shorts.)
Society tells men:
- They’re stupid, thoughtless pigs if they don’t show intense emotion in every situation. (Truth: Like I said, men and women are different. Men aren’t naturally inclined to get emotional in situations, but women are. I’d honestly prefer not to have other guys bawl with me after watching a chick flick.)
- They’re a disappointment if they don’t work in an office, have a company car, and eat lunch with the brain surgeon of Johns Hopkins on a weekly basis. (Truth: The world has no right to call you a disappointment. I think it’s only disappointing if you’re lazy and lie around all day.)
- They’re poor if they can’t afford to take four family vacations every year, buy every new iPhone that hits the market, and drive a Mercedes Benz. (Truth: You’re not poor if you can’t afford everything. People who buy everything in sight end up with insane debt. Rich doesn’t equal happy.)
Society tells teen girls:
- They’re weird if they don’t have a boyfriend by age 15. (Truth: Not all girls have had a boyfriend by age 15, but we’re envious of the ones who do because they seem popular and happy. In reality, they’re probably very heartbroken by age 15, but they try to hide it.)
- They’re slow if they don’t have a 4.0 in school, a job, a club/sports team, and a big group of friends. (Truth: No one has time for all of these things. You don’t see the meltdowns of the girls who try to do absolutely everything.)
- They’re a prude if they want to save sex for marriage and wear clothes that don’t hug their bodies. (Truth: You are a prude. Be proud of it.)
The truth is that society is going down the toilet, and I don’t want to go along for the ride.
I am SICK of society telling me what I need to be. I am SICK of trying to live up to the world’s impossible standards.
If we try to live up to the world’s standards, we’ll never be good enough.
Even if you get to a size 2, you won’t be skinny enough.
Even if you dye your hair blonde, you won’t be pretty enough.
Even if you make $500,000 next year, you won’t be rich enough.
Even if you buy the newest Escalade, you won’t be cool enough.
Even if you get ten promotions at work, you won’t be successful enough.
With the world, you’ll never be enough.
With Jesus, you’re always enough because He is enough.
Truthfully, we aren’t enough. We’re broken. But He makes us enough because of His perfection. When we decide to trust in Him as our Savior, He sees His righteousness in us.
It’s a losing battle to try to conform to this world. Just ask the celebs. They’re not genuinely happy.
Even if Alexis dyes her hair, spends all her money on trendy clothes, and starves herself to be 100 pounds, Maddy will still seem prettier.
Even if Kim stops staying at home with her kids, gets a college degree, and finds a prestigious job, Liz will still seem happier.
Even if Ron gets promoted to president of the company, starts making twice his old salary, and buys a new house for his family, Eric will still seem more successful.
Women fear they will be alone.
Men feel they will be weak.
Teenage girls fear they will be ugly.
Everyone—in every age group, in both genders, in every country—feels like they will never be enough.
I told you the truth.
You’re not enough.
But Jesus says you are because He is.
Even as a Christian, you can chase the perfect jean size, hair color, boyfriend, career, house, or car; but those things will never be enough because they are just things. You’ll just keep chasing thing after thing after thing…until you collapse and realize you’ll never be enough for this world.
This post is more than just a lesson about satisfaction.
It’s about freedom.
The world spoon-feeds us lies with a deceiving smile. It promises happiness and leaves us depressed. It promises security and leaves us afraid. It promises that we’ll measure up…and yet we never do.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God (1 Corinthians 3:19a).
…[D]o you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).
You may claim these verses are harsh or impossible to follow, but there is a sense of freedom that comes when we say “no” to the world like we were meant to do. Christians were meant to shun the ways of this world. A lot of Christians (like myself) want to be just like everyone else, but being like the world only leaves us feeling empty.
Only living like Christ will fulfill us because that is our calling.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world (James 1:27).
We can run with the world and hope to catch up with everyone else…but we never will.
With Christ, we don’t have to compete with others or struggle for a prize.
Christ won. We are champions.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us (Romans 8:35, 37).