Everyday I am bombarded with messages of what to buy, how to dress, and where to go. In high school we see friends wearing clothes with brand names, shoes made by famous athletes, and even carrying designer bags.
These are just reminders of how our environment influences us. With subtle (and not so subtle) images and messages on television, Facebook posts from friends, tweets from celebrities we follow on Twitter, and Snapchat posts it’s easy to think people have a great life. However, most of what we see on social media doesn’t always translate in the real world. We all spend time filtering the image we want the world to see, sharing with our online friends the best part of our lives and not always the challenges.
Each day we make the decision to read specific posts, watch certain videos and pick which of our friend’s posts we’ll like.
Recently I realized just how much these images were influencing my decisions. After all, I wanted to make sure I was wearing the trendiest outfit and that I had tried the latest gadget. I wanted to make sure that I was not an outsider.
I started wondering what I truly needed verses what I wanted. I even thought of what I really needed verses what the world was telling me I needed. The new iPhone? What about those Hoover boards? I can’t forget the new “Just Don” Air Jordans!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
I thought of a recent term that was being used by my friends and celebrities. Used in Beyonce’s new song “Formation” during the Super Bowl 50, the term “slay” had overnight become a positive term.
“I slay. You slay. We slay.” I would respond over texts and social media posts when I liked something that was posted. But were we really slaying?
“We’re killing it!” I would later explain to the older generation when asked about the term “slay”.
I admit, language changes from one generation to the other. Problem is none of us were really killing it or trying to kill anything for that matter. We were simply conforming to a trend that had started with a music video. Much like the items I found myself buying and friends saving up for, we had been told that “slay” was now the “it word”. It’s as though we had gone out and bought a word, and ladies jumped at the idea of getting into “formation”.
I thought of how I had never adopted a verse from the Bible. How being a Christian didn’t seem to be popular among my friends. How much like them, I too had conformed based on societies views.
Everyday I try to remind myself of one verse to guide me throughout the day. I tell myself that if I am to conform it is to be a new person, to let go of the “old man” and fully embrace the Holy Spirit in my life. Yes, I slay- usually during trials and tribulations. The only way I do it is by letting God fight my battles, by being in constant “prayer mode” as my friends like to put it.
We Want to Know:
Have you had problems conforming to this world?
How do you handle the pressures of buying new items as a teenager?