“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” — John 15:19, NIV
In John 18:36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In John 15:19, he says, “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
It may seem strange that Jesus is telling us that we are not of this world. Images of aliens from other planets or life on the moon might come to mind when he describes us in this way. However, this is not his intention. Jesus is telling us to stand apart from the world and to be a light for him.
Do Not Conform to the Pattern of This World
“Do not conform 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 12:1, NIV
Regardless of who you are, you have probably noticed that the world is not a perfect place. In fact, it is full of pain, brokenness, suffering and sin. God calls us to be different.
In Romans 12:1, Paul tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This means when the world is turning away from God, we are called to turn toward Him.
When everyone is doing something, it can be hard not to join the crowd. Peer pressure is powerful, whether it be at school, work, family gatherings, church or even on social media. However, as Christians we have to take what we see the world doing and weigh it against the Bible.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to dwell on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” and anything that is excellent or praiseworthy. If the world is doing things that are ungodly or not true, noble, pure and admirable, chances are we should not be doing those things. After all, we are not of this world.
Shine Your Light
“So that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” — Philippians 2:15, NIV
Living not of this world does not necessarily mean just avoiding sinful things. It also means shining our light and doing things the world is not willing to do.
For example, Matthew 5:44, tells us to love our enemies. Most people in the world do not love their enemies, so going against the grain is a way to share the love of Jesus Christ. It can be an opportunity to share our stories and shine “like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15, NIV) when people see these differences in us.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.