The Danger of Going with the Flow

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, When You Don't Like Your Story 26 Comments

The Danger of Going with the Flow

I met my husband at a Bible Study in college and quickly learned that he was a very frugal, industrious, and resourceful young man. On our first date, he came to pick me up in his ten-year-old Volkswagen Beetle that he had purchased for $725. He says it was yellow. I say it was beige. Regardless of the color, this fine piece of machinery had several not-so-fine features.

It had no air conditioner, no defroster, and…wait for it…no speedometer. The speedometer broke when the odometer hit 200,000 miles and never left 0 again. So how did he know how fast he was driving? He paced himself according to the speed of the cars around him, and he knew when to change gears by judging how much the car shook. I kid you not.

So Steve traveled around town and on highways, with no earthly idea of his exact speed. He was totally dependent on those around him to guide him. Most of the time that worked. One time it didn’t.

It was about 98 degrees the day Steve drove from his hometown to mine for our wedding weekend. Because his car had no air-conditioning, he left home very early in the morning. However, because he left very early there were few cars on the road. His points of reference were missing, and he couldn’t judge his speed.

About two hours into the trip, Steve saw a blue light flashing in his rear-view mirror and his heart sank. With speeding ticket in hand, he slowly puttered for the rest of the journey for us to say our “I do’s.”

It would have been so easy to be angry at that patrolman for giving Steve a ticket on his way to get married. But the truth is, cars aren’t meant to be driven without speedometers…and neither are we.  If we pace ourselves according to the speed of those around us, we will get in trouble.

It’s true of driving a car. It’s true of living a life.

Paul reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2 NIV).

I love how the New Living Translation says it, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

The Greek word for “conform” is syschematizo and means to be molded according to a pattern or assuming a similar outward form by following the same pattern. It’s easy to just fall into the world’s way of acting and thinking. Going along with the flow has always been easier than going against it.

There are a lot of behaviors and customs that the world says are acceptable but the Word says are not. Our culture celebrates sin and condemns constraint. And it would be so easy to drive along without a gauge of any sort, but pace ourselves according to the flow of those around us.

But there is a better way! It comes after the “but.” “But let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” And that transformation happens when we get God’s Word in our hearts and minds.

Transformation begins when we accept Jesus as Savior and our dead spirits come to life (Ephesians 2:5), and continues as we align our thoughts, beliefs, and actions with God’s Word. When we begin to flow in the current of God’s stream, rather than the flow of the current culture we’re headed in the right direction. And without knowing God’s Word, we won’t even be able to know the difference.

And look at the benefit of knowing God’s Word: “Then you will learn to know God’s will for you! 

Steve and I kept that Volkswagen Beetle for three more years. We puttered around town to our first jobs, shivered through two winters, and never got another ticket

Father, I want to make sure that my thinking aligns with Your Word. As I read my Bible, help the words sink into my heart and flow out with my actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What are 1-5 ways that you have gone with the flow of the world that you might need to rethink? Leave a comment and let’s compare notes.

When You Don't Like Your Story


Today’s devotion was taken from a bad day that had a good lesson. But what if you feel like you’ve had bad chapters in your life that are a lot worse than a speeding ticket, rest assured; God can use those, too. When You Don’t Like Your Story will show you how to transform your worst chapters into your greatest victories that God can use.

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© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 26

  1. Television- I like the Hallmark movies and some are very nice but they slip in non Christian values and I am trying to turn it off

    1. I agree. The last couple of years they have been showing more and more no Christian scenes and lifestyles. I’m leaving them also.

    2. I am very much a “Hallmark” fan but not as much as, I once was. I’m now 59yrs., old and yes; sadly have seen high deleting on Christian Values. We now live in a culture where being a true follower of Christ is offensive to others. We have the right to take an exit from what our eyes & ears find for entertainment. I have become very selective in what I watch, read and listen to. I must guard my heart and mind, so that I may continue to be the disciple, he called me to be. Stand firmly in the faith. Blessings.

      1. It is so easy to get sucked in to all the different type tv shows, to the point of not wanting to miss a single episode. The problem with this for me, it is time I should be serving God in some way, being a blessing to someone, taking care of my home duties, which are so important. Satan will use whatever he can to put stumbling blocks in our lives that draw us away from God. TV isn’t a bad thing, unless… it is constantly pulling us away from what glorifies God. I turned off my cable because I know it has become a hindrance in my life and marriage. We now spend more time outside on our swing just talking, playing board games and just enjoying each other’s company. Life changing! Hit the off button, even if it’s only on the weekends or evenings until after dinner. You will be amazed at how much you get done and how much you don’t need the television. Have a blessed day!

  2. One way I have gone with the flow of the world is believing and acting as though my value is attached to what I do… another way I have gone with the wrong flow is thinking my will power alone can keep me from the sin I struggle with… these areas are both a work in progress for me and still my struggle. Especially as I feel concerned I use these as excuses to not try hard enough…

    1. I’m continously tempted to go with the ways of this world and just divorce my husband. He’s hurt and disappointed me so much and continues to fail our marriage by withholding love and putting himself first. Yet every time I go to the Lord with this brokenness, HE restores my faith and helps me to patiently endure a little longer. According to the world, I’m crazy and should have filed for divorce a long time ago. But God’s ways are not the world’s ways.

      1. I was married for 42 years and succumbed to divorce. In many ways I’m disappointed in my lack of faith. I have since grown spiritually! This is not justification for the divorce but is a praise that God forgives and still loves me. Be strong where you are at. If you are in danger, reconsider. God loves you either way!

        1. Cristal…. I understand completely. I’m in the same position. I keep praying… The hard thing is when I don’t see changes, I feel like the situation will never change. My challenge is praying despite his free will to not change. Can’t force a person to change. They need to surrender to the Lord. So I keep praying. I do get discouraged and have to remember God is on the Throne. God bless you.

  3. I follow the world when I focus on the fear inducing media about the calamities waiting to befall us from plagues to asteroids. God has a plan for me and it ends very well..I need to focus on the good..the beautiful , the righteous… and stop focusing on what the world wants me to focus on.

  4. Wow what a good reminder, That we should stop flowing with the flow of the world and look up to God for the right direction.
    Thankyou for sharing.

  5. Thanks for this reminder Sharon. I can confess music,movies and staying busy with worldly chores keep me flowing worldly instead of delighting in God’s word,knowing him more and being who I should be.God be with us as we seek to be changed.

  6. For a long time I made work my priority and didn’t take care of my health. I thought that the harder I worked, the more valuable I was, and that others would notice my dedication. I finally got my health and mind under control by reading scripture and praying. I stopped living according to the impossible standards of this world and started living according to who God says I am and what His plan says.

    1. Laura, I am right there with you. It is not that I am trying to live up to any one or anything but the Job we have is extremely demanding. I get 40 to 90 calls a day and every call sends me in a different direction. My health has tanked and I am crashing. I have tried to do all the right things and know that I need more quiet time with the lord and in his word. He is my life and my stay but somehow the wall is to big and too deep an I am not coping well at all.

      I get caught up in anxiety (which I have never experienced before). I am asking God to help me find a solution. we have just put our business up for sale as it is destroying my life. It is very successful but I am no longer able to handle the stress. I would covet prayers.

      1. Hi Gwen,
        I know what you are going through because I’m in the same dilemma and feeling the effects of fatigue and burnt out.
        I’m praying for you to find rest in God, purpose and help where you can. I pray that you can prioritize seeking God first because busyness is a lie of the enemy to tire you to distraction. May the Holy spirit guide you. Amen

      2. Gwen, praying for you to know God’s plan for your business. I didn’t change jobs, I changed my priorities and put God first.

      3. I am learning healthy boundries at age 59. It is good to say no to things that are not God’s best for my life.

  7. I flow with the world when I gossip and contemplate moving out side my stand on a Godly relationship and marriage. It is hard to do this in a society that no longer believes in abstain or marriage.

  8. I find myself constantly comparing myself with others in so many ways, striving to be someone I’m not, and not appreciating who God made me to be.

  9. 1. Not reading God’s word every day
    2. TV – especially late at night and
    mindlessly eating
    3. Spending too much time on iPad
    and phone
    4. Gaining so much weight that it is
    now affecting my health

  10. Dianne I can relate completely. Ladies, your posts encouraged me that I’m not alone in my struggles.

    I am a single parent and it is sometimes hard to be celibate but through prayer and focusing on my girls, spending time with church family who hold me accountable has truly helped me.

    I am reminded over and over just how much I need Jesus and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. How incredible blessed and grateful I am for the power of the Holy Spirit.

    God is so gracious and kind.
    I will keep you ladies in prayer and please keep me and my girls in prayer as well.
    Love you all! God bless you Sisters 🙂

  11. The Volkswagen story was hilarious…hahahahahahaha! Yet, a great example. “Going along with the flow has always been easier than going against it.” that line reminds me of many families I see that prefer to be their children’s best friends than to parent and teach them the right way.

    For instance,

    1. bad grades, cutting classes, awful discipline. Why is that teenager still having a cellphone?

    2. G-string bathing suit

    Someone I know, a gorgeous young lady with a rocking body, asked my opinion about those. So, you looked terrific and fantastic, but I do not find a reason for you showing all that flesh. She said, ” but it’s cute, and everyone wears it to the beach”. I told her I do not support that. I do like them, but I don’t think is necessary…

    So she went to someone else, her father, who totally agreed with her, and of course, what happened? She wears those to the beach which is the same as being naked.

    3. Movies

    Sometimes it’s hard to find a really good movie. A constant struggle with my husband; the ones he likes are full of profanity and scenes that I find myself covering my eyes. I certainly do not want God to feel disappointed with me.

    Every day, I try my best to do what makes God happy! I do want my crown and hear His sweet voice saying, “well done, faithful servant.”

  12. While working as a waitress/cashier in this one restaurant, I was the only Christian among the staff. While wanting to fit in I joined the crew drinking sakau (kava in Fiji and Hawaii). I for one did not drink it because it looks like mud. Plus I don’t mingle with “the world”. It was my first time and I wanted to go with the flow. I was also compromising making it look like I was “one of them”. Now I realized that what I did then was “following the crowd”. My boyfriend asked me why I joined them. He said that’s why he went to his home to sleep. I kinda learned my lesson because that crowd backstabbed me. So, I don’t ever want to join them again.

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