25. Do not follow the herd

I get together a lot with friends and then we each bring something to eat and enjoy the time together. Now obviously there are always very delectable things to eat. I need to restrain myself, because I realize that I don't feel so good if I eat the wrong food. I do eat some of it, but not as much as the others. And to tell you the truth they get annoyed with me if I don't join them in tasting everything on the table. They sometimes even take my plate and put an extra helping on it.

Now this made me think. Why are they annoyed that I don't join them? And then I realized it is because they feel guilty for eating everything but if we all join in together, they feel better about it, because 'everyone is doing it'. But if I don't join them, I remind them in my silence, that actually this is not so good for them.

And that is so true for several other situations in our lives. People want us to join them. They want us to do what they do in order to feel better about what they are doing. They don't appreciate individuality. I can name you several situations in the places that I worked at, but I am sure that you can name even more. It happens on a daily basis.

The other day we were returning from holiday and there were a lot of 'left over' snacks that my two boys didn't eat, like mini cheddars, Marie cookies, wafers etc. It was still all fresh, so I put it all together into an airtight Tupperware. A week later I opened the Tupperware and wanted to give them some of it, and you know what, due to the cookies etc being mixed together they lost their flavor. Everything tasted exactly the same. If you didn't look and simply tasted it, you wouldn't have been able to say which is which.

And so it is the same with the company we keep. We should be careful with the company we keep. Sooner or later we will 'taste' like them. People won't be able to discern who we are if we are not part of the group. God created each of us as a wonderful unique being; we do not need to follow the herd. We should rather follow His Voice inside of us. We need to do what is best for us, through His guiding Spirit.

Just a last thought on this subject. If I was to follow my friends and eat everything on the table presented to me, and my blood type/genes do not handle the surge of sugar so well and I develop diabetes, what would they say then? Where would they be when I need to go to the doctor regularly, when I need to inject myself every day, when I go into a faint if I don't eat properly? Sure they could support me, but at the end of the day it is only I that will suffer and bear the consequences. And this simply because I couldn't say no to them. Apply this to your own unique situation and think about it carefully before you follow the herd. You are too special to allow them to take away your individuality and hurt you/your reputation in the long run.

Father, give us the courage to stand up against the crowd and only do what is pleasing to You. You are the only One who knows what is best for us. We want to follow Your divine guidance for our lives. In Jesus' Name. Amen

2 comments for “25. Do not follow the herd”

  1. Gravatar of TanjaTanja
    Posted Friday, November 11, 2011 at 11:39:43 AM

    sjoe...ek was mal oor die woorde oor mens se roeping as straatveer...maak mens net besef om voluit vir God te lewe, gefokus op Hom en nie die wereld nie!

    Dankie Ilze!!

  2. Gravatar of LindsayLindsay
    Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 10:52:38 AM

    Wow, that was such a beautiful piece...and a very good lesson! Think it is just wanted I needed to hear and be reminded of xxx

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