" And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
One popular phrase that has been around for years and years is-- "keeping up with the Joneses". What does it mean? (Let me give you the definition according to the dictionary.) It means to try to emulate or not be outdone by one's neighbors. It is an idiom referring to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social class or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority.
Now days we are trying to keep up with the Kardashians--and everyone else-- as well. Someone is always trying to keep up with someone else. It gives them a sense of important. It makes them feel good about themselves. It makes they feel better than other people. It feeds their pride. It soothes their intimidation. It makes them feel that they are "somebody". And they will pursue it no matter the cost. It may cost them financially. It may cost them relationships. It may cost them everything, but they are going to have people's approval and admiration at any cost.
I hope this is not you especially if you are a born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ. If this is you, this devotional this morning is a warning and an admonition. A warning to flee this evil pursuit. To stop coveting what others have. Be content with what you have. Be grateful and stop trying to be like everyone else, or someone you are not. Be who God created you to be. Don't be deceived by the outward appearances of the people you are trying to emulate. You are not them. Get deliverance from the pride, intimidation, fear and idolatry that is attached to it.
I admonish you to remember that you are not of this world. You are a pilgrim and wanderer in this life. This is not your home, you are passing through. You have a home above in heaven in the Father's house. I admonish you to stop comparing yourself to someone other than Jesus. Your goal is not to keep up with some other person, it is about lining your life up with Jesus. So seek God's approval- not man's. Seek to be like Jesus- not some wealthy, famous, socially accepted person.
I am not talking about not trying to better yourself. I am talking about doing it the "right way". The only way to truly "better ourselves" is by being conformed to Jesus' image. It comes as we decrease before the Lord-- not try to increase in material betterment. It comes as we surrender to Him and allow Him to make us into the person He desires for us to be. When we do, we won't have to struggle any longer with getting man's approval if we will set our hearts to get God's approval.
Have a great day. Who are you trying to "keep up with"?