“What Do You See?”
You may think while reading this article that the title I have chosen is rather unusual and strange, as you read on it will become self evident as to what I am trying to convey.
You see, as the Bible declares, we are people of habit, and also people who display many characteristics of varying insecurity, that dictate and control our motivation through life.
Therefore if you constantly observe other peoples repetitious habits, good or bad, we as humans assume those actions must be the norm and so you and I will replicate them and follow those examples. What you behold you become. These two factors alluded to above, are the basic reason and cause behind why you and I react the way we do. The first scenario that influences, response in our lives so forcefully is what psychologists call conditioned response or what we know more commonly as, peer pressure. Because we do not want to face rejection or exclusion in any given situation we will endeavour to change our viewpoint or mannerisms in order to be accepted amongst our peers.
We find it very humiliating when we face crowds, who do not see things the way we see them, and therefore we try to change the way we either do or say things, to fit in with the relative surrounding group dynamics.
We desperately try to submit what we know, may be contrary convictions and principles, by sliding under the radar of opinion, that influences the direction and thinking, within that circle with which we personally mix. We hate isolation and rejection so we are prepared to sacrifice our viewpoint, our uniqueness and individuality, for the sake of acceptance. And that saints and friends, is totally contrary to the Word of God. What we have actually done when we compromise our ideals like that, is to sacrifice truth and morality on an altar of expedience and convenience and consequently we simply just crucify our conscience.
The Bible tells us we must not compare ourselves amongst ourselves, or with one another, as it is firstly self denigrating and unwise, and secondly destructive, as well as, a violation of our personal identity therefore, unprofitable for us to do this. What it is saying is that when we get in a group, we all tend to look at the other person next to us and then determine how they do things and then try to fit in with what they do, and how they respond. We look at others around us, and if we see the majority of folk doing things in a certain way, we then change the way we normally respond, and attempt to do it the same way they do. In the process we crush and lose the uniqueness of our own individual approach and follow the pattern of others habits. It is called conforming to society.
In the biblical epistle to the Romans chapter 12 verse 2 we are instructed not to conform to this worlds imposed dictates, but to exercise what is Gods good, acceptable and perfect way of doing things which is individual and unique to each of us. There is nothing wrong with emulating other people, so long as we choose to do so, for reasons of development and personal growth to bring about maturity, but it is not good to mimic others simply for negative emotional reasons, that shroud and hide our fears and insecurities driven from a spirit of rejection.
If we as individuals are people driven and coerced by the fear of being excluded or rejected from the body of surrounding opinion, chances are most will adapt rather than be different. We will change our ideas, habits and even personal choices, such as the way we dress and style our hair to conform to the group’s idea of what they think should be practiced. Added to this we are trained through the formative years of our life to conform to orders and instructions given us by those in leadership priority, above us. Thus we learn all through life, if we are to succeed, then we must change our way of doing things and fulfil the desires of others whom we are told, know better than us. I am not advocating here that we should go to the other extreme and rebel against every authority and procedure, just for the sake of it. To do that is foolishness, justifying disregard for, and rejection of, even Christ like behaviour which is wrong and unacceptable to God.
But between the two perspectives is a balance, we must never allow our individuality and personal uniqueness to be crushed by allowing others to shape and frame our thinking just simply to fulfil their goals and desires by abusing us. Take the example of prostitutes and gangs. The initiates are there perhaps initially for some other genuine reason, maybe they need food or money so they give themselves to all sorts of vice and demeaning actions in order to satisfy their desperation. But after a while they become exploited in that role to which they submitted themselves, and then find themselves just a creature of habit now doing what others demand of them simply because others get a benefit from those very actions.
God never intended us to become people who all look , act and see the same. We are individuals created in his likeness with the potential to invest our own distinct ideas into the discussions and designs that are being constructed. That is what gives our world its beauty and difference. Imagine for a moment if all artists, used the same colour and style. Imagine, if they all just painted the same picture, or perhaps if all architects designed and erected the same type and style of building.
Imagine if all vehicles and furniture etc were identical, you and I would become very bored and uninteresting. Yet sadly we take an example of someone we believe to be appealing to the majority and then we set them up on a pedestal and try to replicate and emulate what they are, because they seem to be acceptable. That is why we have superstars and idols, and they are no less idols than those which have commanded societies attention through history to which nations and peoples have submitted themselves in worship. And what that idol or its priests instruct us to do, we do without question because that is what we are taught is acceptable and normal behaviour. Tragically, as then, we now, have people who will murder and slaughter others and rob and steel, do drugs, live as animals and we laugh thinking this is acceptable behaviour, and not only do we tolerate it, our multinational company advertising endorses and promotes it. No wonder our thinking is so distorted and sick.
We give power to these modern idols and figures in our community by the attention and financial reward we give to them and ultimately they destroy themselves with excess along with us and our children, because we set them up as examples and then encouraged our children and others to follow them. We promote absolute extravagance as the goal to which we should aspire, we endorse greed and power as the pinnacles to attain to, if we want success. Tragically and ignorantly, we then wonder why we have such arrogance, anarchy and disrespect in our society.
We pay a person like Tiger woods (the very picture of demoralisation) and others millions of dollars just to appear at a tournament while the world starves and goes hungry, we lift up people like Paris Hilton and follow and report their every move as though they were God's and we worship the very ground upon which they walk. What foolishness, and all the time our society is disintegrating in every way. All we need to do is stop supporting and endorsing this nonsense and the craziness would cease. But not us, we will continue to enjoy the sensual and ungodly violation of every principle that upholds goodness and justice and purity and excuse it as our right and freedom of expression.
Western capitalism is the only true acceptable form of civil government, we say, what rot , how so deceived we are and do not even realise it. We promote drunken sporting orgies and sensual lingerie parties and beauty shows, all in the name of business and career and in the promotion of modern social enterprise. But all the time we are creating such a decadent, depraved and hellish society for our children that not very long hence nothing will be taboo or off limits. Then we see our generational SODOM AND GOMORAH complete and we will reap its consequences. If you can not see this reality forming before your eyes you are absolutely blind and your conscience is as the scripture states, seared with a hot iron “DEAD”. So now let me ask again, what do you personally actually see?