Question:

I would like to ask, how do I mix around with people at work or school? My colleagues and classmates often gossip and speak or joke with cutting words (demeaning or swearing). I want to keep my faith but yet I see the need to blend in instead of being anti-social.

Answer:

A person can be social without blending in. When you blend in, people don't see you as being different from anyone else. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (I Peter 4:1-5). As Peter points out, some people will reject you for not being like them. You can't control people's choices. But even while they are rejecting you, you can be kind to them.

Stand out from those around you -- not by being aloof, but being what they ought to be. "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth" (Colossians 3:8). When you put Christ's teachings into practice, people are going to search out your company because they feel good in your presence. You are kind when everyone else is mean. You are encouraging when everyone else is degrading. People will respect and appreciate that.