As Christians, we know that we're often required to do things differently to everyone else. In fact, we're specifically instructed not to conform to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2), but the pull of the crowd can be hard to resist.
From what we wear and what we watch to where we hang out and who we hang out with, we're under a lot of pressure to follow the crowd. A lot of the time, what draws us closer to the crowd only places distance between us and God. That's why we're called to walk a different path. None of us want to feel as though we're missing out, sitting on the sidelines while everyone else is having fun. But going Christ's way instead of the crowd's doesn't mean that we lose out. What he offers us is infinitely more than we could hope for by following anyone else. Living a life that doesn't always adhere to the principles favoured by the masses becomes a lot more manageable once we accept this.
If we're in need of inspiration from those who've set themselves apart from the crowd to follow Jesus, we can always look to the disciples. The pressures that they faced to conform were greater than those that many of us have to confront today. Because they wholly trusted in Jesus and understood why it was necessary to commit to loving him more than the world, they were able to give up worldly gains in place of something much greater - salvation, a renewed relationship with God, eternal life.
If you're feeling tempted to conform and pursue a path that isn't compatible with the one that God wants you to take, these 10 Bible verses can help bring you back on track.
Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
2 John 1:9 - Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
Luke 6:26 - Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
James 4:4 - You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
John 15:18-19 - If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Proverbs 5:20-21 - Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Psalm - 118:8-9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 4:19-20 - "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." At once they left their nets and followed him.