Although I have been saved for more than ten years and I have done my best to continue to grow in Christ especially over the last year, there are times in my life where I have to literally stop and separate myself from an event, person, or place. Each one of us can relate to this but I can only speak for myself and while I have gotten much better at this over the years, there are still times when an individual person, a group of people, or a particular place/event will get the best of me.

Honestly, when I look at many of the things that are said against President Trump, I have to stop myself because much of it is false. When I look around and see the way the younger generation is being brought up and how they are raised, I cannot help but be worried at the very thought of what’s next. When I think about some of the things that I have seen from my family and others around me, it hurts to know that many of these people do not care how they do or treat others and this infuriates me at times.

While emotions are a part of every human being and there is nothing wrong with getting upset, we must be careful and control how we feel or they will become our actions. There is a reason why Christ wants us to separate ourselves from this worldly system as we, His People, are set a part. We are to take a different route and to act differently than those who adhere to the worldly system: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). If we hold on to the worldly system and what it says, we will not have the desire to do God’s will as this worldly system has no desire of God.

Sadly, those who accept the ways of God and adhere to them, the world will hate and persecute: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19). There is a significant reason why God wants us to not be a part of this secular, worldly system and that’s because it embraces evil and whatever feels and/or seems good: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). Before you think of isolation, please think again as Christ does not want us to exclude ourselves from this world but rather, not adhering to the ways that the world sees as good.

We are of this world, naturally, and Christ created us and put us here for a reason. This does not mean that we have to be a part of the evil worldly system but we do have a mission and a purpose and we are to shine our light in this world for others to see. Think of it this way: if we were to remove our light from this world then the entire world would be in utter darkness but God gave us a light to shine upon the world and that’s what we should do as we are the light of the world so we should shine brightly for Christ: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14). More importantly, as I am reminded, Christ is the GPS and the compass that we follow so we should continue to seek His light at all times and in all situations: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

There are many examples that I can provide over the last few years about having to remove myself from a person or situation but one of the most recent and aggravating ones took place in New York City at the airport. This was the first time I had ever been at this particular airport and I had already been on a long flight back from Indonesia with very little sleep. After going through security and having my credentials checked, I made a wrong turn and had to go back through security, once again. My fault but to make sure that I did not do this again, I asked one of the three security guards for help but rather than helping me, one told me to read the signs. This did not set well with me and I wanted to say something to this person because it was not professional of him nor was it polite but rather than causing a physical confrontation, I just said thank you and went on but I would be lying if I said I did not want to say something in the same manner as this individual.

Although this person gets paid money to help those who need it and he failed to provide it, I understand that this is the way of the world and an example of what I am not to be like. This is not to say that I always pass the test but I do like to think I do receive a high mark and a passing grade but this is a process that continues on and does not stop. When we say that our growing in Christ is done and become content with what we are in Christ then we allow for ourselves to be caught off guard: “The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalms 37:23). Although I have been growing in Christ since I was baptized and truly gave my life to Christ, this is a process that I am learning daily and one that I am tested by as I witnessed in New York City: “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, [is] from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:1).

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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