Okay, quick show of hands: how many of you heard your Mom or Dad say this to you? I’ve got both my hands up!
I always hated this statement, because I felt like saying, “Mom, I’m not an idiot. I know where to draw the line.” This an extreme example (a hyperbole) intended to get a point across. The point that our parents were trying to make is: humans tend to be crowd followers.
We want to be accepted, so sometimes we bend ourselves a little bit to get the stamp of approval from our peers. It might be a little more obvious among teenagers with clothing choices, music preferences, or attitudes toward those “outside” the mainstream. Although it gets a little more subtle among adults, I think the desire to be accepted—to go along with the crowd—is always there.
Or else we become rebels. If society says “Right” the rebel says “Left.” If society says “War” the rebel says “Peace.” If Mom and Dad say, “Go to church,” the rebel says, “I’m going to stay away from church.” Which shows another tendency of human nature: we tend to go to extremes.
God says, “Do what is right. Period”…
You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice. And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.
Don’t go along with the crowd just to be accepted.
Don’t go alone just to be an individual.
Live for the approval of an audience of One.
It’s only when I take the time to reflect on my conversations, my actions, my thoughts, that I see these two tendencies in me: I do one thing to go along and then do something entirely different to show that I’m my own man. Instead of these extremes, I need to ask, “Is this pleasing to God?”
I’m working on it. How about you?