Thursday, October 7

Finding Your Fit

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good pleasing and perfect will. --Romans 12:2

Everyone goes through a period of not fitting in, especially during the "Critical Decade" as defined by Dr. James Dobson. In junior high and high school, it might be the late bloomers or the early bloomers who feel like they are out of place. In college the peer scene is dominated by extracurricular things such as fraternities, sororities, or groups of particularly religious or ethnic affiliation. After college some people may feel like they don't fit unless they are married or at least dating, and have a job they thought they would by a certain age.

The feelings of "fitting in" or not fitting in as the case may be, is highly subjective and subject to change at a moment's notice. There is always either some external force, such as our peer group, telling us we are out of place, or an internal feeling of dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us feel out of place. Whatever the case, we need to evaluate ourselves based on God's standards, and not the world's.

In God's mind, the only thing that would cause us to not fit is to live outside his laws and commands. Missing the mark, living in unrepentant sin, failing to submit our lives to his will--those are the things that will keep us from finding a secure place in the hollow of his hand.

Only God can form us into a fitting shape, spiritually speaking. No amount of works that we try to do will earn his favor or make us fit into his will. So long as we are outside his will trying to plot our own course, we are like blunt, square pegs trying unsuccessfully to cram ourselves into delicate round holes. Trying to conform to the things of this world will continually frustrate and exhaust us. We will be unable to understand God's good, pleasing and perfect will, unless we allow him to transform us into something new.

Finding our fit with God is only one way to survive the critical decade, particularly in high school in college. It is of essential importance during those years to have a sense of identity in Christ. The world will try desperately to tell us where it thinks we should fit. Our faith can assure us that the truest and best fit is with God. Once we renew our minds and align ourselves with his plan, we are not guaranteed success in other areas of life, but we are promised that his will is perfect. By allowing him to craft us into a shape that fits, we can have the peace and security to know that we do "fit in" where it matters most.

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