The other day I was startled when I leaned up against a wall and a decent sized lizard moved across my hand. At first, it was a bit frightening. I had no idea it was there. This lizard had blended in with its surrounding environment where it was almost impossible to distinguish it. The chameleon lizard does this for protection. I have to admit, sometimes, I am much like this lizard. I feel comfortable and protected by fitting into my surrounding environment.
Just last evening, I was involved in a discussion with a middle school granddaughter who had her first big experience with inappropriate, suggestive pictures from a “friend.” This became a discussion with other of her friends. Some of them stated, “it was no big deal.” Now, she is faced with a world that screams at her to be like them. Fit in. Don’t stand up and be different. She has a choice to become a chameleon or to be different from her surroundings. The latter is much harder.
There is a ultra-powerful verse in scripture that addresses this “chameleon” influence from the world. Romans 12:2 states, “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.” As he often does, Paul the apostle states bluntly that our world will press you from all sides to conform to its mold. Paul says don’t let it. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Jesus approached this subject this way in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. People don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Jesus challenges us not to be a chameleon fitting in. He tells us to be lights that light up our world! Amen!