Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Some Christians are like chameleons – they change their color. They may do it as a defense to camouflage themselves from an enemy, or they may do it to fit into a particular environment. Whatever the reason, they just don’t seem to be able to express themselves consistently.
Here are a couple of interesting facts about chameleons, and from them we can make a spiritual application.
- The name “chameleon” means “earth lion” and is derived from the Greek words “chamai” (on the ground, on the earth) and “leon” (lion). Christians who change their behavior and appearance to fit in to their environment are living under the influence of Satan, the “earth lion.” They may not realize it, but their attempts to fit in to their environment are destroying their spiritual vitality. Because they fear being seen as Christians in an unGodly world, they have become earth lion’s themselves, changing their appearance and their behavior to fit whatever crowd they are in. They do not conduct themselves in a consistently God-honoring way. As a result, they do not stand firm and contend for the gospel, but instead are frightened of the people that oppose Christianity.
- Many people think that the chameleon’s ability to change its body color is purely an adaptation to its surroundings. Although the surroundings play a significant part in determining what appearance will be put on, the motivation for changing appearance is not based on the environment, but rather is an expression of the physical and physiological condition of the lizard. The skin color is changed under influence of mood, light, and temperature. How true this is of Christians as well. We allow our physical status to determine our level of joy, and we allow our emotional state to dictate our external behavior and appearance. We make the choice to let the earth’s environment overwhelm the spiritual experience and we live as earth lions rather than children of the Lion of Judah.
- One more interesting fact – the skin color of a chameleon also plays an important part in communication and rivalry fights. I have seen the faces of far too many Christians change in an instant from composed natural tones into hot-heated red when they are confronted by someone of a different opinion. I have stood in embarrassment beside Christians as they change their color to tell off-color stories because they want to be noticed or to fit in. I have been such a chameleon myself. We all have become earth lions at times because we were ashamed to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul challenged the Philippian people to not be chameleons, but to consistently obey God no matter what their surroundings or their group of influence. God did not save us from the earth lion and then leave us powerless against his influence. No, He saved us and made us more than conquerors over the earth lion through Jesus Christ, who is heaven’s Lion. If you’re going to change your colors, why not wear the Savior’s? Submit yourselves to God, and resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Choose a color, and then stick with it.