Let’s keep it real right now! There’s a ton of pressure to fit in with the crowds you hang with. Some of you are so involved on your school campuses and act differently around different groups because of the need to be considered “cool.” That desire to be seen and liked by your peers is dangerous to pursue.
When I was in the Army, I was a different person when I was at work and someone else at home with my wife. My language was terrible, and I would even jeopardize my faith just to fit in with my homies. I remember someone saying, “bro, you’re different when you’re around your wife.” Instantly, that made me think, “who’s the REAL me? Am I fake when I’m around my wife?” That comment rocked me!
This battle with my image around my peers beat me up, and I had a lot to figure out. So, I did what all millennials do and went to Google. I searched for Bible verses that pertained to being yourself in all situations. After reading through some of the verses, Psalms 139, 13-14 hit home for me: You are the one who created my innermost parts; you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb. I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful- I know that very well.
Who do you act differently around? Will your friends accept you for being a Jesus follower, even if that means going against the “cool thing” if it jeopardizes your faith? It’s not easy, but you have to stop worrying about fitting in and chasing friendships/relationships. Let them happen organically, and God will place people in your life who will accept who He made you to be.
God wants you to be who He created you to be, not what others want you to be!
Houston Woodard is the Student Pastor at Christ’s Church of The Valley – Maryvale Campus