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. (Romans 12:2)
My experience of that period of my life was not so much about being a rebel to my parents. I am sure I want’s an angel, I know I had some thoughts and some words that were not strictly in line with what my parents required of me. Overall, though, on the surface I remained an obedient and complicit young man.
That was on the surface.
I spent a lot of time on my own, though, and in that time I was mulling over a lot of things. Things like my identity and my purpose in life. I didn’t feel I got much from around me at church anyway. I grew restless at things not living up to something I felt would satisfy me. I felt I was definitely different from my parents, it didn’t make sense that much looking to be acceptable to them.
It seemed to make sense to me, to play the game and toe the line where certain others were concerned, because that was the game to play. At the same time, though, I really had to look out for myself and just do what was acceptable to me.
Pride can be very subtle. The same way that man fell in the beginning when he was told he could be the ruler of his own destiny, is the same deception that seduces people today in very simple ways that don’t draw too much attention. As someone who swallowed that hook, line and sinker, I thought for a number of years that it was perfectly acceptable playing the religious game of church conformity whilst behind closed doors seeking my own gratitude and do things my way.
This is one of the reasons why I am so grateful for the mercies of God. His lovingkindness that would let me see what a wreck I was making of myself as long as I looked to just please myself. That life and following Jesus it was clearly shown to me in experience was completely incompatible.
There was a choice to be made, when it came to life – it had to be acceptable to who?
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden