Toothpaste and Balloons

Toothpaste and Balloons

Last week our Student Ministry hosted an event for all of our Middle and High School students called WAKE. The event was for students and led by students. One of my favorite parts of Student Ministry is developing the next generation of leaders in the church. Over the past several months as I have worked with our Student Leadership Team, it has been amazing to see how God is transforming their lives and as a result transforming our Student Ministry as a
whole. The theme of WAKE was ‘transformation’. We challenged students with the question: “Are you a conformer; or, have you been transformed”? Conforming to the world is like squeezing a brand-new tube of toothpaste. We conform to the world when we follow the crowd instead of looking to the cross. We conform to the world when we value the opinions of others over
God’s standards. We conform to the world when we are a “fan” of Jesus, but not a true follower of Jesus. The more we conform to the world, the more we squeeze the tube of toothpaste until eventually there’s nothing left inside. Conforming to the world leads to emptiness.
On the other hand, there’s a big difference when we are transformed. Imagine a flimsy, plastic balloon with no air inside. In some ways an empty balloon represents all of us when we come into this world. We are sinners in need of a Savior and many live their lives searching for meaning and purpose. It’s only when we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus Christ for our
salvation that we are transformed. Once this turning point happens, the Bible says that we are filled with the Holy Spirit; the one who empowers us to live the Christian life. We are indeed transformed by God through our faith in Jesus Christ. As an empty balloon is blown up and tied, it begins to have shape because of what’s been put into it. Because it is now full of air, it has substance, meaning, and can be used for a specific purpose. You can tie a balloon on a string or rub it on someone’s head to cause their hair to
stand up. A blown-up balloon is certainly more useful than an empty tube of toothpaste. While conforming to the world leads to emptiness; being transformed leads to true fulfillment that can only be found in a relationship with Jesus.  Are you a conformer or have you been transformed? I hope you will consider this question as you strive to grow to be more like Jesus.