Dare To Be Different
It seems as though our society has pushed the need for “inclusivity” especially hard this past decade. I am concerned that this push has created a desire within Christians to be included with those of the world and/or created a fear within them of being excluded by those of the world. With this in mind, how are Christians supposed to view the differences between themselves and the world? Should there be differences at all? Should Christians fear being different knowing that the people of the world will not accept them? Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about it.
From beginning to end, the scriptures have shown a distinct contrast between those serving God and those not serving God. This contrast is as stark as “lightness and darkness” - (1 Thessalonians 5:5), “enslaved and free” - (Romans 6:18), “few and many”- (Matthew 7:13-14), even “dead and alive” - (Ephesians 2:5). Could these illustrations be more powerful? I believe they prove the point perfectly that God’s people are polar opposites from the people of the world, and the differences between them should be profound. The things we say, the way we dress, and the way we conduct our lives should in NO way reflect the way of the world; but instead, should reflect the Pattern left by our Savior Jesus Christ who “...gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works”- (Titus 2:14).
Jesus did NOT redeem us so that we would desire to be INLCUDED with those of the world, but rather so that we would walk WORTHY of being EXCLUDED. We know that Jesus Himself was rejected and excluded from the world. In John 15:18-19 Jesus comforts us by saying, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you....but I have chosen you out of the world...”. Jesus has chosen us out of the world to be separate, to be changed, and to be different. In Romans 12:2 we are admonished to “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. Living this transformed life in service to God will never be the life the world accepts, despite it being the life that God commands us to live. When Christians dress modestly at the beach, the world excludes them. When Christians refuse to engage in fornication, the world excludes them. When Christians do not partake in drinking alcohol, the world excludes them. Whose acceptance do you value more, the world’s or God’s? Who will judge you in the Last Day? (Matthew 25:31-46). Dare to be different as Christ was different.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” - (Matthew 5:16).