You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Pressure to Conform

Conformity Fellowship Transformation

Source: Psychology Today

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-01-29

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:14 ; Romans 12:2

Author: Stephen Kingsley
5

ILLUSTRATION

In 2005, neuroscientist Gregory Berns conducted experiments to try to gauge how people respond to societal pressures. Berns created social groups that were tasked with looking at a series of objects to decide if they were the same or different. But unbeknownst to the volunteers, four participants in each group of five had been coached to unanimously give fake answers to some of the questions. Even though they were obviously wrong, on average, 40 percent of the time the volunteers went along with the group.

Subjects were also hooked up to a brain scanner. Berns concluded that social pressure activates the part of the brain devoted to spatial perception, showing the desire to fit in causes people to change their picture of reality.

APPLICATION

in Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, "Be not conformed to the world." Berns' study proves how easily we can abandon what we know is right in order to fit in with a group. Paul adds, "But be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The world's pressure is an external force, while the transformation the apostle calls for is from within.

The secret to this renewing of the mind lies not in running the right thoughts through the mind, repeating Scriptures over and over, but by yielding to the Holy Spirit. Knowing how susceptible we are to the influence of others, the power of good and godly fellowship is of the utmost importance.

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Don't Let Your Friends Hold You Back

Destiny Character Fellowship

Contributed By: Morgan McKinley | Date Posted: 2017-06-15

Scripture: John 3:20 ; 2 Corinthians 6:14

Author: Morgan McKinley
3

ILLUSTRATION

Most of us have some experience with choosing a side in a conflict or a debate. And whether we realize it or not, our positions on any number of things has a way of narrowing our associations. If you're a Christian, you have Christian friends. If you are an artist, your closest friends are creative in some way. All of us have a particular political leaning, and it's likely that most of our friends agree with us.

But what if someone has an addiction of some sort? More often than not, the people he or she associates with are caught up in an addiction as well.

APPLICATION

What you love most will show through the people with whom you surround yourself. If your passion happens to be productive, you will attract like-minded people. But if it's counter-productive, you will surround yourself with people who will hold you back.

Thus, if you are not yet reconciled to God, then you are most likely surrounded by people who will help keep you that way.  Your passion, whether it is for God or not, has led you to where you are right now, to the people in your life.  

Are the people around you following God? Don't let your friends hold you back!

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

Division Is Never Good

Unity Love (Human) Fellowship

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10 ; Matthew 12:25

Author: Corey Sawyers
4

ILLUSTRATION

I have always loved math. It is concrete. It has rules. Unlike grammar, there are not hundreds of exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions. 2 + 2 is always 4. Yet even in math, there is a negative (no pun intended). Adding and subtracting are basic and needed. Multiplication is fun and exciting. Division, however, is not so good. That is especially true in the church. In the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for addition in the church. Adding to God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:18). But there are still so many good additions to be made in the church. It was - and is - always a blessing to have members added to the body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24). Adding to our faith is necessary and good (II Peter 1:5ff). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for subtraction in the church. Taking away from God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:19). But there are still so many good subtractions made in the church. Through Christ, we can have our sins subtracted (Rom. 11:27; I John 3:5). The veil that separated us from God has been taken away (II Cor. 3:16). The Old Covenant was taken away for a better one (Heb. 10:9). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

There is a place for multiplication in the church. It is great when the word of God is multiplied (Acts 12:24). It is great that a knowledge of that word multiplies grace and peace (II Pet. 1:2). It is great that God can take what little we can offer and multiply it to great things (II Cor. 9:10). Through Christ, mercy, peace, and love are multiplied (Jude 2). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

APPLICATION

No, in the church, division is never, ever good. Division is caused because people will not accept nor submit to Christ (Lk. 12:51; Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19; Acts 14:4). Division within the church - no matter the reason for which one might try to justify it - is always condemned (I Cor. 1:10). A divided house cannot stand (Mt. 12:25). Division keeps brethren from worshipping together (I Cor. 11:18). It causes brethren not to care for each other (I Cor. 12:25). 

Christ has not been divided (I Cor. 1:13). Yet there are a great many who seek to divide His body. They come in the name of skin color, politics, social standing, nationality, occupation, background, etc. In reality the ones who cause divisions are "worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit" (Jude 9). They teach us to be so swelled up with pride that we can never put ourself in another's shoes and see from their standpoint. Instead of following the example of Christ (I Pet. 2:21), we allow division to cause us to commit sin against one another. We play fast and loose with facts and deceive. We return revile for revile. We utter threats. We forget to entrust ourselves to Him who judges righteously (I Peter 2:22-23). You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Evil forces work to divide our country and our communities. No, it is not worse than it has ever been - man has been divided since Cain and Able. That we are allowing it to fester in the church, though, is truly sad. This is also not new. From the Jew-Gentile struggles of the First Century to the segregated congregations of the 20th and 21st Centuries, we keep trying to bring division into the Lord's Church. Still, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Let's stop arguing. Let's stop finger pointing. Let's stop being brought down into the muck of the world. My allegiance to my race, my state, my country, my family, my political party, my occupation, my school - even my allegiance to myself - should have been put aside when I pledged my allegiance to Christ. May we set the example of Christ in order to ADD to His body. May we SUBTRACT the hate, prejudice, arguments, and improper allegiances in our lives. May we MULTIPLY God's Word, peace, love, mercy, and grace wherever we go. And may it never be said of us - not for one second - we were guilty of bringing DIVISION into the church. You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

I Murdered My Grandmother This Morning

Words (Power of) Fellowship Encouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-19

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 ; Psalms 19:4

Author: Chuck Swindoll / Illustration Exchange
5

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Table Is A Splendid Pulpit

Hospitality Fellowship Discipleship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-29

Scripture: Hebrews 10:24 ; Acts 2:42

Author: Illustration Exchange
11

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Rent-A-Mom

Motherhood Church/Body of Christ Fellowship

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2015-11-15

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 ; Ephesians 2:19

Author: Barnett Gushin
8

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Avoid A Collision With Trouble

Fellowship Wisdom Trouble

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-10-21

Scripture: Psalms 1:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
16

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

There's Always Room At His Table

Thankfulness Fellowship Evangelism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-11-19

Scripture: Luke 14:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Tech Giant Suggests Artificial Intelligence Is Grave Danger

Free Will Fellowship Devotion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-11-04

Scripture: 1 John 1:3

Author:
5

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

I Love Ice Cream, but . . .

God's Love Sin Fellowship

Contributed By: Ron Henson | Date Posted: 2014-03-14

Scripture: Isaiah 59:2

Author: Ron Henson
2

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or