I was listening to my daughter as she gave me the feeble excuse, "But Mom, the rest of the homeschool group is going!" I already knew my answer was going to be "no" to this unchaperoned activity of co-ed young teens, but her words caused me to think about the need we all feel to be like everyone else. I remembered using the same poor excuse with my parents and hearing the same "would you jump off a cliff if everyone else did it, too" lecture. Why do we have such a need to be like others?

God had been leading His people ever since He brought them out of Egypt. Why did they think they needed a king now? Moses, the judges, and the prophets had protected, exhorted, and provided directly for His people, but now the people wanted Samuel to find a king to rule over them, so they could be like the other nations around them (1 Samuel 8:21-22). Samuel tried to warn them what having a king would do to their lives, but they wouldn't listen. God's response in 1 Samuel 8:7b is probably the answer to all the generations of young people who have ever used the "but everyone else is doing it" excuse: "For they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

What excuse are you telling God to justify your sinful actions? Do you find yourself participating in activities and making purchases so you can be like everyone else? If you are His child, He has a different plan for your life than to go with the flow. He wants to set you apart to be holy unto Himself. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Jesus, I stand convicted of my sinful selfishness. I yield my life to Your correction and ask You to cleanse me of those things that do not glorify You. My body is Your temple, and I give You all that I am today. In Your precious name, Amen.