"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." --2 Timothy 1:7
If the water rolls downstream and I am swimming upstream, I am on a collision course.
As I move closer and closer to following God's will and God's ways, I expect more conflict and a different, deeper type of conflict. In an earlier post, I wrote of something I referred to as The All-Consuming Ugliness of the Prosperity Gospel. Smooth sailing is not for me.
As a Christian, I am swimming upstream in a downstream world. I experience more conflict than the "average person", and I experience it not because I am crude, rudely arrogant, or self-congratulatory. I experience conflict because I am living right side up in an upside down world. I voluntarily chose a path different from the majority of people around me. I chose a standard of behavior and priority that sets me apart.
I am not set apart for superiority or adulation. I am set apart for service, for love, and for God's purposes. That's the old fashioned definition of "holy." This type of holiness has nothing to do with not wearing make-up, not going to theaters, or not having certain hairstyles. It has everything to do with the orientation of my life. By becoming set apart for God, I am on an automatic collision course with much of what I see around me. I should expect this, and not shrink from it.
Authentic Christians are always on collision courses with authentic worldliness, selfishness, and greed. I am not required to wear old-fashioned clothes, have a large cross around my neck, or carry a large, hardcover Bible. If I live in the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline given by God, nothing more is required. Cruise control is activated.