Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 4:41 pm | Fair 62º


Jim Langley: Conforming to the Ways of This World

It’s quite easy to get caught up in the ways of this world. Almost everyone seems to be conforming to a more liberal lifestyle these days.

Perhaps the words of a song from the past telling us “it can’t be wrong when it feels so right” — and here’s their reasoning — “you light up my life” — is why so many are the way they are. Debby Boone, the daughter of Pat Boone, took that song to the top of the charts in 1977. For years you would often hear “You Light Up My Life” performed at wedding after wedding.

There’s one big problem folks. Just because it feels so right doesn’t mean it can’t be wrong. Feelings can easily deceive us into believing that everything is going to be just fine.

In business, we can become enticed by the quick success of others and attempt to follow their lead in hopes of experiencing similar success. As an insurance agent over the past 30-plus years, I’ve seen some of my peers fall into practices that led them down a path of short-term success and eventual failure. On a few occasions, I’ve seen certain schemes actually lead to an agent’s personal and professional demise.

And some not only lost their ability to conduct future business, but they unfortunately experienced substantial fines and time in prison. They were tempted to take shortcuts rather than do the business ethically as they were taught by those who preceded them.

On a much larger scale, we’ve all seen corporations fall out of favor due to their unethical business practices. One major financial institution recently has been spending millions of dollars on a strategic marketing campaign to improve its image, which has been tainted by apparent deceptive business practices for years. Whether the efforts will successfully turn the tide of lost customers is uncertain.

Sadly, it only takes a few top-level executives to devise a devious plan, but in this particular case many branch executives bought into the plan to establish fake accounts for their own personal gain and prestige.

This seems to be the way of this world in which we presently live.

Paul gives us some sage advice to the Christian church in Rome on how we should live our lives. In Romans 12:1, we’re told, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”

That’s how we are to live — as if we are His servant wanting to please our Master. We need to understand that He sees our every move, and there will certainly be consequences for our actions that do not please Him.

Then in Romans 12:2, we’re instructed, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This verse helps us better understand the need for a true transformation rather than be caught up in the pattern of this world which is filled with selfish people and devious schemes.

In Romans 12:3, Paul further advises, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

That’s important for all who follow Christ to consider. We are first and foremost here for His purpose and His glory. We must carefully consider our actions and attitudes in our business and personal lives constantly.

Conforming to the ways of this world may seem harmless and of no consequence, but there are always repercussions for our actions. Two thousand years ago, Paul spoke to this problem and the only difference today is the enormity of the impact our bad decisions can have in this fast-paced world.

The Bible calls it sin and it’s been with us all since the Garden of Eden. It can consume us and we need to flee from its hold on us.

The answer to our pitiful condition is found in the sacrificial life of Christ Jesus, and we must look to Him for salvation, forgiveness and guidance.

Passages to Ponder

» Matthew 18:2-4

» 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

» Romans 6:11-14

» Philippians 3:20-21

» James 1:16-21

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Dianne and Brianna Johnson
Dianne and Brianna Johnson
"We are committed to making our clients feel special by providing the concierge level service they deserve."

Full Profile >

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >