Culture is corrupt. It is not a government problem; it is a people problem. The world of the 21st century rejects the God of the Bible and despises his teachings. Culture chooses darkness over light just as Jesus said it would. If you are trying to live faithfully, you may feel helpless and hopeless. Your strong desire to live for Jesus fights against the cultural norms of unrighteous and self-centered people. Can you survive? It sure would be easier to surrender.
The good news is that you can change your immediate culture. I can do nothing about the culture of New York City or Hollywood. But, I can change the world around me. I can change what goes on around me. Here is how.
1. Take a Stand
There comes a time when you throw down a marker; you draw a line in the sand that you will not cross. It is not easy and may even be terrifying. Don’t laugh at the nasty joke and do permit crude or offensive language in your presence. Don’t “like” or “share” trash on social media. It is your personal space, and you control what happens in it.
2. Carry Your Sword
Scripture calls itself the sword (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16). Take your sword that is, your Bible, with you everywhere. Place it on your desk. Let it be seen poking out of your back pocket. Let people see you reading it. You will be stunned at the stopping power of a visible Bible. Add a Christ proclaiming image or article to your online accounts.
3. Seek Allies
Everyone is not corrupt. True enough, we are all sinners (1 John 1:8), but we are not all promoting evil. Find that person on the job or in your class who seeks to know Jesus and draw closer to them. Battles are hard to fight alone. Build alliances to help change your culture.
4. Claim the Battlefield
The company breakroom is notorious for foul talk, boasts of sin, and gossip. It does not have to be that way! Gently, and sometimes not so gently, change the topic. Talk about good things. Highlight others who are doing good and commend them publicly. Talk about your worship, talk about involvement with good deeds. Crowd out the trash talk.
5. Claim Victory
Jesus already won. The victory is his. You and I just fight in the little skirmishes. We are sweeping up after the win. Even in the darkest day, you are still a victor. You are a warrior with a crown of victory (1 Corinthians 15:56-58; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).
No combat is easy. It is not fun to be on the battlefield. You can, however, make the best of your time here by fighting to expand the borders of the Kingdom. You can choose to go along with the world. You can follow along mindlessly, or you can challenge the status quo. You can lead your immediate culture out of the darkness of sin. The choice is yours alone.