I asked around a bit to find out what other young Christians were struggling with and this topic hit so close to home that I absolutely had to tell you guys my thoughts. As Christians, particularly young ones, there always seems to be a constant battle between staying cool or trendy and living a lifestyle that’s completely honorable before God. And for so long, I struggled with it. One of the biggest things that I felt kept me from completely renouncing my life of sin was the unrealistic expectations of ‘religion’. There were so many rules (mostly made up by fellow religious folks): Don’t listen to this music, don’t wear that, don’t speak that way, don’t watch that show. I would constantly feel as though I was living in bondage, trying to live up to a standard that was appeasing to other Christians and not necessarily to God himself. In so many ways, I felt like I couldn’t have fun or be myself and serve God at the same time. So in the end, I would always decide that living for God was too burdensome and that my true freedom was found in sin. I constantly fell back into my former lifestyle; it was like a never-ending cycle. When did we decide that everything secular in this world is sinful? As I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve come to realize something that I believe many have yet to discover: sometimes it’s just not that deep. I don’t believe that watching Scandal or wearing a crop top will send you to hell [1 Samuel 16:7]. I do, however, believe that there are some things out there that can affect your heart and those are the things that God wants us to stay away from. Whatever those things may be, they differ from person to person and it’s important that we listen to God’s instruction for our own lives. Whenever I’m at a crossroad, trying to decide whether or not I should do something that I see others participating in, here are two things that I always consider:
Will it affect my relationship with Christ?
Just as the members of Alcoholics Anonymous have certain places and things that they avoid to maintain sobriety, we as Christians have to be careful that the things we participate in won’t throw us back into a life of sin. If it’s something that will take your heart and mind off of God or make you feel ashamed to come before him once you’ve done it, I would most definitely steer clear of it. Believe me, it’s just not worth it.
Is it a poor representation of my faith?
Jesus says that we are the salt and light of the earth [Matthew 5:13-16] and whether we like it or not, we are a little different. People should be able to tell from the way that we present ourselves and the way that we show love that there’s something special about us. We have to keep in mind that we are ambassadors of Christ. Would an African diplomat bring shame to his country in the name of popularity? Absolutely not. I would never want to misrepresent God or my faith. You never know who’s watching and you never know how many souls could be saved just by you being mindful of this.
So that’s it. That’s how staying relevant took a backseat to my relationship with Christ. I live a fulfilling life and I’m free from the binding rules of religion but I’m also in love with Christ enough to avoid those things that could harm my close relationship with him. I hope this helps!
What are your thoughts on being a Christian and remaining trendy?