The word “conformity” can have both good and bad connotations. It is defined as “similarity in form or character; agreement; action or behavior in correspondence with socially accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws.”

The world has just kept some of its festivals, and many have conformed to keeping Christmas and New Year because of peer pressure; not wanting to upset children, parents or family; or because it was a good excuse for a few days off work with, in many cases, riotous and wanton celebration.

Of course, there were those who kept those days moderately and in good conscience–although they were “sincerely wrong”–but even such people are becoming the minority, as the supposedly religious “Christian” aspect fades from view for the majority.

Had many not spent lavishly at the end of the year, businesses who rely on this trade may have been put out of business and that could have exacerbated an already fragile economic situation. But that was not the reason that people spent; it was simply what they wanted to do.

People conform for all sorts of selfish and personal reasons: Wanting to belong; not wanting to be ostracized in their society; wanting to be seen at various functions or with organizations; attending church because it’s the “thing to do” especially at Christmas and Easter; and so on. This conformity is something with which a true Christian must not be involved.

However, conformity can be a good thing when channeled the right way. I am referring to conformity to the Way of God, conformity to His Word and conformity to His Commandments (compare Romans 12:2). This is not self-seeking, but a humble approach to the One Who gives us every breath we breathe.

Conformity to God and His Way is totally opposite to the conformity that this world practices, particularly at the time of the year that has just passed. When we conform, let us be in line with our God and not in tune with what the world expects of us. Then we will always be in a winning situation!

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