Why I Refuse to Conform to Social Norms

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Romans 12:2 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.

I don’t fit social norms.  I don’t gossip, I don’t use profanity or drink alcoholic beverages. Typically when friends confide in people, their business spreads rapidly. In the midst of frustration, stress or annoyance, people tend to use profanity to express their exasperation. And when attending social gathering, or simply relaxing at home after a long day, people reach for a glass of alcohol to calm their nerves. Therefore, I make some people feel awkward. I have learned not to fret about this, but embrace who I am.

I know everyone loves a juicing piece of gossip. Better yet, the person who knows the gossip cannot wait to tell it! Gossip comes at a cost. It betrays someone’s trust, even if it seems that the gossip is minor. Because people see that I don’t gossip, they come to me with their problems and when they just need to share their current struggle. Then I am able to provide an encouraging word, a shoulder to lean or merely just listen quietly. We all have done something we regret (Romans 3:23) or have something going on in our lives. I chose to build people up, not tear people down by betraying their secrets (Proverbs 11:13).

What really pierces my heart is to hear in public an adult cursing a child calling them anything but their name, or a couple in a heated argument cursing each other. How can people who are supposed to love and care about each other use harsh words to hurt the other person? There have been many times when I have been hurt or disappointed by people, even stubbed my toe, yet I did not curse. The words that come out of my mouth should always mean something. I also shouldn’t allow myself to become immune to foul language that it never phases me when I hear it.  Words mean something – use them wisely (Ephesians 4:29).

Most social gathering involve alcohol. People drink to relax, wind down from the day. Some drink to loosen up, lose their inhibition, become more “fun.” I have chosen not to allow alcohol to control me but, as a Christian, to be led by the Spirit of God who lives inside of me (Galatians 5:16-24). Therefore, oftentimes I am the outcast, the only one nursing my Diet Coke, but I am fine with that because I know the reason why I do it. 

These are three reason I don’t fit the social norm, but fitting in is not my goal. My goal instead is to be more like Jesus.

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