How You Can Maneuver Toxic Culture

Do you know much about the Texas Revolution? I sure didn’t. Then I started watching a historical miniseries with my husband, and now I have a whole new appreciation for the threats early American settlers faced. Watching them maneuver cannons, gunfire, and arrows on TV got me thinking about the threats you and I are maneuvering in our generation. Things like constant messages that promote Godlessness, hyper-sexualization, greed, envy, and strife. Everywhere we turn it seems that Christians are being hated, canceled, and shunned. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.


The good news is that God is not surprised by any of this. He put you and me here on this earth at this time for a reason. And He left us instructions for how to maneuver our toxic culture right now.


Here’s how: Paul the Apostle tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (See Romans 12:2 ESV). The Greek word for “transformed” implies a change from the inside out, like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. So right now, you and I are like caterpillars getting pummeled 24/7 with messages that tell us that we are a part of a losing team, that Christians like us should be canceled, that God is not real, and that we are naïve – even hateful – if we think otherwise.


Do not be conformed to this world. It is a liar. And if you’re like me and most Christian women I know, you’ve probably let it shape you for too long. You cannot look to the world and let it tell you how to think and feel. The world would have you do whatever feels right in your own eyes.


So, how do you transform your mind and not get caught up in culture? Good question. You “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV). My friend Robin makes this plain: “Imagine I have two sticks on this table. One is crooked and the other straight. The Bible is the truth, the straight stick. You are the crooked stick. Lay your thoughts up against the straight-up Biblical truth every day.”


Listen, don’t be naïve. Everything is working against you to keep you living as ineffectively as a crooked stick about to be thrown in the fire. The only way you can make your stick straight and pull other crooked sticks out of the fire is when you realize the Holy Spirit’s power that is already within you. You have something the world does not have, and that’s Jesus. So, the world cannot touch you. Be strong and courageous. And take hold of these promises today:


And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17 ESV


“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 ESV


Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 ESV


“I have said these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus in John 16:33 ESV

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