Monday, October 15, 2012

You Are Designed To Be Odd

I can't emphasize this enough: Christians must be different in this world. We are different from everyone else. We think differently, speak differently, act differently, respond differently, see differently. It's not because of us but because of Jesus in us. This means we have to make the decision not to be like everyone else in this world. We have to allow the power of Jesus to work itself in us which means we make the decision not to be like the world:

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. (Ephesians 4:17)

It isn't that we have the power to make the changes that need to be done but we have the ability and freedom to choose Jesus over everything else. It is Jesus who works the change.

The world, with all of it's distractions and temptations, will always have a pull on us. Sin is always attractive at first. Sin fits into the human thinking. It is logical to man. The greatest desire is to fit in, to be accepted, to be liked and even loved. We want to feel appreciated, like we matter, that our life is worth something. We sometimes allow ourselves to think that the world can offer this but it can't.

Man, in all his logic, is still a being of rebellion and selfishness. Even the best of the best is not good enough. All the world has to offer is more destructive sin, hate, loneliness, despair, war. Even if it is not in you it is in the world and it infects. Right now much of the Western world is focusing on the problem of bullying. Yes, we can preach it is not acceptable, but it will not change the human condition. It will not change the selfish heart of a child. To say that hatred is not acceptable will not stop hatred. But those who bend their knee to Jesus have the ability to set those things aside and choose the one who does offer what the world cannot.

We may not have the power to love but we have the ability to choose not to hate. When we turn aside from hate the power of God's love is able to fills us. We cannot be everything we desire to be but Jesus has the power to get us there. Our part is to turn away from the futility of the thinking of this world, to turn from its pattern, to reject it:

Do not conform any longer 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)

The Bible is very clear on this, to be possessed by Jesus is to be different from this world. If people cannot tell you are different from your speech and actions then you have a problem. To be like Jesus in this world will set you apart as an oddity. You cannot be like Jesus and "fit in".

For a teen it can be tough because most just want to fit in, go unnoticed, to not draw any attention to themselves. To do that is to choose the world. To choose Jesus is to reject the world and walk in the will of God. It is to allow the power of Jesus to transform us into what we were designed to be. The amazing thing is that the power of Jesus gives us the ability to face giants, to win over bullies. Look at the bully David faced and defeated. Consider how God won over the king bully because of Daniel, when Daniel rejected the pattern of the world in favour of God. Amazing stuff.

By the way teens, it is not that much easier as adults. Bullies grow up into bullies and some even become presidents and prime ministers. But with the power of Jesus we are able to overcome even these powerful bullies.

To be a Christian is to be a target in this world, and it is becoming increasingly so. What is worse, there are portions of the body that have decided to reject the truth of God for the acceptability of the world. It will not end well for them. I hope you will make the decision that Jesus holds more for you than this world could ever offer. I hope you will reject the world's futile thinking and destructive pattern. I hope you will choose life and be different in this world.

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