Either we are conforming to Jesus’ way or the world’s way (Rom 6:11-13,16, 13:14). “Do not let the world squeeze you into its mould, rather be changed and transformed by the renewing of your mind" and so get the real perspective on life (Rom 12:2).  Conforming is generally to an external worldly pressure or influence to comply with its declining standards, “They think it strange that you do not eagerly join them in the wicked things they do, and they will laugh at you in scorn and contempt” (1 Pet 4:4).

Often the ungodly worldview is in conflict with the inner conviction of our conscience. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But…be holy in all you do” (1 Pet 1:14). However, if the worldly peer pressure without is stronger than the inner resolve to resist you will succumb to those influences and adopt their values.

How do we resist yielding to compromise and peer pressure?  By “counting our old nature dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:6,11).  Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).  The society in which we live will try to pressurise us to conform to its ungodly ways. This will reduce

A godly person is prepared to stand out from the crowd

our effectiveness for God’s kingdom and being the challenge and contrast our life should be with those who don’t know Christ.  We are answerable to God for all our actions, including those that we have done under pressure from others.  Be prepared to stand up for your own convictions against the majority regardless of the repercussions when their way is in conflict with that of God’s as revealed in His Word. God’s goal is for us to be conformed to the image of Christ's holiness and victory over sin, this is the complete opposite to the deteriorating standards of the world (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). The Christian's way of life is inner transformation to become as sinless and holy as Christ. Before coming to Christ we walked in sin but now are "new creations in Christ" and so are to bear the likeness of this new nature (1 Cor 15:49; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 5:19-23; Eph 4:22-24, 5:1; 1 Jn 2:6). The standard we should measure ourselves against is Christ’s – that will be our judge (Jn 12:48). True Christians hate this present world, as they recognise its rebellion against God and do not want to be part of it. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (Jas 4:4). The lifestyle and ultimate destiny of those who walk in God's way is contrasted with those who follow the pattern of the world (Ps 1:1-6). Conforming to this world means making self the focus not God (Rom 8:5-8; 1 Jn 2:16).

The Bible’s message is “Do not be afraid of those who [can only] kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Mt 10:28). The book of Daniel records several cases of people being nonconformists, choosing to walk uprightly, honouring God rather than do the accepted thing (Dan 1:8, 3:17,18, 6:6-11).

“God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will…” (Eph 1:11).

See also: choice, compromise, conscience, imitate, peer pressure, transform/transformation, world-view.