4 Ideals We Should Pursue to Stay True to Jesus
As followers of Jesus, we must take care to not let the influences of our world negate our understanding of our Savior and what he stands for. This must be an ongoing effort, because worldly ideas bombard us all day long and not God-honoring principles. And this directly opposes biblical truth.
If we’re not careful, these negative ideas will push biblical truth out and replace it with secular notions. I fear that many in Jesus’s church have unwillingly succumbed to making this error.
Here are four ideals we should pursue:
1. Do Not Be Politically Correct
Afraid they’ll offend others, these people have become politically correct, while pushing aside the idea of being biblically correct. Yet to be true to Jesus and his calling on our lives, we must adhere to biblical truth.
May biblical correctness be more important to us than political correctness. The Bible is the foundation of our faith. If we lose our foundation, we lose everything. And we’ll stand for nothing because we’ll cease to stand at all.
2. Do Not Conform to the World
Paul writes that we are to not conform to the world’s ways. Instead, we are to transform our mind by renewing it (Romans 12:2).
We best renew our mind when we seek God in the spiritual realm and immerse ourselves in biblical truth in the physical realm. The prescription to prevent conforming to the world starts with studying the Bible and progresses by listening to the Holy Spirit.
3. Do Not Love the World
John writes that we are to not love the world nor the things in the world (1 John 2:15). Yet it is easy to get sucked into this.
We live in a materialistic society that conditions us to crave more, to never be satisfied with what we have. This is the point of advertising: to make us want what we don’t have.
Instead, we should crave spiritual things to mature in our salvation, just as a baby craves milk so it can grow (1 Peter 2:2). May we excel in our faith and not worldly pursuits.
We must focus on what is of God and not what is of this world (Colossians 3:2).
4. Do Not Worry About Being Hated
Jesus says that the only way for the world to love us is if we belong to it. But we don’t belong to it. He has chosen us out of the world. When we follow Jesus, the world will hate us (John 15:18-19).
If the world hates us—criticizes, attacks, and diminishes us—it proves we’re rightly following Jesus. The counterpoint is that if the world doesn’t treat us this way, our faith and our witness for Jesus means nothing.
Though we all want to be loved, we should expect that when we truly follow Jesus, not everyone will love us. Some will oppose us.
John writes that we shouldn’t be surprised when the world hates us (1 John 3:13). Furthermore, the apostle instructs us to not love the world or anything in it. If we do, it shows that we don’t love Father God (1 John 2:15).
Conclusion: Do Not Be in the World
Though we are in the world, we are not of the world. If we lose sight of this distinction, our faith fails to hold meaning and our influence on the world diminishes.
In doing so, we’ll lose any positive impact we may have on the world; we’ll fail to point others to Jesus and advance his kingdom.
To not be in the world requires an ongoing, daily effort. We must guard what comes into our mind from the anti-God influences of society, lest it push out his truth.
Instead, we should think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). And we find these ideals in Scripture. This biblical truth provides the unshakeable foundation for our faith.
To do so we must be careful about the shows and movies we watch, the songs we listen to, and the books we read. We must select our news sources with care, less they, too, lead us astray.
In similar fashion, we must choose our closest friends with care, in case they, too, pull us away from Jesus and biblical truth.
This doesn’t mean we should avoid contact with non-believers—that would be an overreach—but we must make sure that we influence them and not the other way around.
Jesus says we are a light unto the world (Matthew 5:14). When we fix our gaze on him—and not what the world offers—we can do just that.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.