Posted by: richardpowell2013 | June 24, 2013

When in Rome….

Everyone has heard the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In other words, when we are with other groups of people, do things like they do. This is called conformity. Just like a chameleon is capable of changing colors as a defense mechanism in order to blend into its surroundings. Conformity may work well for lizards, but man was created for a unique purpose designed just for him. When we conform to what others think, do and say, we take on their identity, the identity of the world. In there lies the problem with just going along with the crowd. We take on the identity of the others not the Creator.
Scripture tells us not to conform to the ways of this world. It also tells us not to be joined together with others who don’t believe what we believe. This is where so many men fall short in realizing our purpose in this life. When we act like all the other guys, we miss out on the plan that was made just for us! Let me give you a personal example.
As lot of you may know from previous posts, I am a traveling union journeyman power-lineman. I was working on a crew in Southern California and just put in along day of 13 hours. We all rode together in the same vehicle to save fuel because we stayed 45 minutes from our show-up. So, when we got off the others decided to stop off at a bar to have a few drinks. I just wanted to go home, eat dinner and be with my wife. I am also a recovering alcoholic and did not think it would be a good idea to sit in a bar with others drinking. I told them I would wait outside. The men said things like,”We are a team, aren’t you a part of the team?”. Also, “A crew that works together drinks together!”. I said again that I would just wait outside. Three hours after we got off, I finally made it home.
I know in my heart I did the right thing, but why did I feel bad? As I called my accountability partners back home in Florida one of them told me what I may be feeling is guilt. I wanted to fit in and be a light in a dark place and felt guilty that I could not accomplish that by not conforming with them. I am so thankful for having other men in my life that I can go to for wise counsel and reminding me that I can be a light without conforming to worldly ways.
I was able to explain my circumstances to the guys after they were sober and got into some good conversation about things that we usually don’t talk about. I was able to share my testimony and how God changed my life. They listened and a seed was planted that day and even aroused an open door to explain more about God’s grace to an individual!
Looking back on that evening, I am reminded what could have happened if I would have compromised and gave into that kind of temptation. When we start conforming it is hard to stop and will spread to significant parts of our lives. We will compromise our moral judgment and end up relying on our own power.
As men, we are more fragile than we let on. We all just want to be accepted and when we are not it can be devastating to our moral. By having the courage to say NO when we need to, we will be respected by those who wish they had the strength to do so.
Another very important tool we need is to surround ourselves with like minded men. This can be difficult at times, but it is a necessity to remain strong on the battlefield. I have a list of men I call when I start to feel weak and battle worn from the struggles of this world. We were not created to do life alone. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Stay strong and courageous my brothers…until next time.




  1. Reblogged this on High Voltage Disciples: A Wife's Perspective and commented:
    Growing experiences are not always fun.

  2. Very powerful Richard. Thank you for sharing this expereince. Keith and I are so thankful we have you and Carrie as people we can walk through this crazy life with.

  3. Thankful for these words. Conforming….its not always to the world that we need to be able to stand firm against. God continues to teach us and we will have to relearn things…but I’ve been wondering at what point does our relearning become copying or conforming because someone else believes this so it must be true? In a season of seeking what Jesus says about things and relying less on the opinions of others. Its hard and lonely at times, but the reward is knowing I waited for My Teachers answer, and not that of man. These words help me bc people pleasing is a horrible addiction that i have yet to be delivered from. So again thanks for the wisdom given through obedience.

  4. Richard – Awesome. Thank you for sharing the temptations in your life. learning from your examples is very encouraging. It sounds like you made the right call šŸ™‚ I hope I’ll be able to say that in India when unforeseen circumstances arrise.

  5. Thanks everyone for the encouraging words!
    Our enemy will try anything to derail the efforts of reaching future disciples. We need each others encouragement to stay on task!

  6. I decided a few months back to be available to God instead of being a slave to sin. Kelly and I love you guys you’ve been a great encouragement.You and your wife hav shown us what loving people looks like

  7. Just remember you will have many temptations. By leading with example you will always come out victorious. Good Testimony.

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