Conforming, Good Or Bad?
Paul mentioned he was made "all things to all people" depending on who his audience was so that he may better influence them. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Paul compared himself to his audience and approached them in a manner so he could connect or identify with whom he tried to influence. A misfit or reject is unable to influence or save those around him.
Paul did not mean that he conformed himself to others beliefs. Remember, the whole idea for his contact was to save them with the gospel (vs 22). Just like Paul, our faith cannot be sacrificed, relaxed or compromised in order to have influence with the world. Our whole purpose with the world is to be the light they need in order to find salvation through the Gospel.
We, as Christians, are to compare and conform ourselves as well, but what are we to compare and conform to? We will always compare and conform to whatever our source of authority is. The world compares themselves to those around them and they try to imitate those they look up to. But the Christian must have God's word as their source of authority and only compare to it. Christians must conform to it and allow it to transform them, not allowing themselves to take on the worldly problems around them. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Remember, we must be seperate or holy and not exhibit the same things that men see around them in the world.
If we lose our ability to be that light and salt we serve no purpose. Hypocrisy is rampant in the world and definitely something that causes us to lose our ability to influence. Christ said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16