Chameleons are a distinctive group of lizard with more than two hundred different species. They come in a range of colours, and many species have the ability to change their colour to match their surroundings. Hence the word is often used as a nickname to describe a person who changes their opinions or behaviour according to the situation; or one who changes personality depending on where they are or who they are with.
The pressure to conform, to be accepted, to speak the correct ‘slang’, know the right songs, listen to cool music and wear trendy clothes is enormous! And that’s only for the young people. The more mature among us have a whole set of other standards and lifestyles we may feel the need to emulate. In fact, the whole human race is being challenged to conform to standards that are dictated by – whom? It may be more widespread in these days of social media networking, but the problem is as old as the hills. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould,” wrote the apostle Paul, “but let [Yahweh] re-mould your minds from within” [Romans 12:2, J.B. Phillips NT]. Are you trying to fit in with the expectations of the world alongside those of the Bible? There is no such thing as a ‘worldly Christian’!
“The mature Christian will not cover himself with the veneer of this age – he will be a non-conformist where worldly standards and practices are concerned” reflects Oswald Sanders. We must resist the temptation to adapt our lives to standards around us; let’s take time to study the Word of Yahweh and see what He requires. The Amplified Bible reads, “…be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind…” This is change from the inside, an inner renewal rather than a chameleon alteration activated by my surroundings. This type of transformation is not a one-off metamorphosis, but a process initiated and stimulated by the Holy Spirit as we allow Him to work in us to bring about lasting change.
Don’t be a chameleon! It’s fine to be different, to be a ‘non-conformist’, and to hold righteous standards that reflect a sanctified life.