On our island home, it’s easy to spot a tourist. It’s not just their white skin that gives them away. It’s their straw hats and sunburns, their shorts and sandals, their bottled water and beach bags. The cruise boats encourage these tourists to disembark and enjoy the local people and surroundings . . . but to avoid drinking the water. Even a small number of foreign microbes could wage war in their guts and ruin their trip.
Believers are tourists too—temporary inhabitants of a sinful world. And God doesn’t want us to blend in. He says, “I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). With our final, heavenly destination in mind, God warns us: Don’t blend in! Abstain from the local brew!
But the world serves temptation on a fancy tray. Satan’s waiters bustle about with their menus of sin, promising to quench our thirst for happiness. All around us, people tip back tall, tinkling glasses of desire. And look! They seem powerful. Popular. Beautiful. Privileged. If that is the result of blending in, what does it matter if I cheat a little, lie a little, give someone a bad name?
It matters because those “harmless” sins battle for our souls: souls that belong to God. He chose us. Showed us mercy. Paid for our adoption with the blood of his Son. Equips us to stand out as joyful servants in a dog-eat-dog world.
We are foreigners with a heavenly home. Don’t blend in!