Chameleons are some of the most intriguing creatures in the animal world. They are perplexing and breathtaking mainly because of their ability to change their skin color to blend in with their environment. These camouflaged lizards even seem absent from their glass containers in pet stores and zoos because of how well they can hide in their surroundings. Chameleons do this for their own safety because staying hidden from predators is their only defense strategy. Since they don’t have a vicious bite and can’t move quickly, they conform to the colors of their environment to avoid detection.
While it is good for chameleons in the animal kingdom to conform to their surroundings, it is not good for Christians in the kingdom of God to conform to their surroundings. Chameleons were created to conform, but believers are commanded not to conform. Twice in the New Testament, we are warned against such conformity. First, in Romans 12:2 where Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” As believers, we are not to pattern our actions and lives according to the ways of the world. Compliance with the world and being melted into its mold is something we are to avert. We should not swim with the stream or run with the crowd. We are to resist the pressures and temptations of this sinful world so that we don’t end up looking like the world. We are called to be different—transformed, not conformed. If we look so much like the world that we easily blend in, something is terribly wrong.
Second, in 1 Peter 1:14 the apostle Peter commanded us, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance.” Paul warned us about conformity to the world and Peter is warning us here about conformity to our old way of life, namely the passions and desires which ruled our lives before we were saved. Elsewhere Peter urges us to avoid the passions of our flesh (1 Pet. 2:11; 4:2), but what he’s referring to here are the passions of our past. As children of God, we are not to be conformed to the lusts, appetites, and desires which filled our lives as unbelievers.
God doesn’t want you to be a chameleon Christian, blending in with the world or conforming to your old inclinations. Instead, God wants you, “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.