As we continue to consider areas where we may be hindered in the race God has marked out for us, can you relate to the hindrance of the FEAR OF BEING DIFFERENT AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST? I have personally struggled with this big time in my earlier years and it even rears its ugly head every now and again now.
I have always wanted people to like me. I want people to approve of me-think I am cool, “with it”, on the cutting edge of …..well, anything. In other words, I don’t want people to think I am this weird Jesus fanatic like we read about in the news. I don’t want to be associated with “Christians” who either live depressed, legalistic “can’t do anything fun” lives, or be the one no one wants to be around because I give the smelly fragrance of self righteousness and judgement. I have said, “I don’t like others to be uncomfortable and I don’t want to put people off.” What is wrong with this picture? Excuses. Self-justification. It reeks of “all about me,” also known as pride.
As followers of Christ, we want to be discerning and use wisdom with the world. But many times, I fall into the trap of Satan’s deception. The fear. The pride. I stay quiet. I don’t share the hope I have through Christ. I try to blend in. I don’t stand up for Christ and HIS values and ideals when given the opportunity; or when I see His honour and majesty of who He is being tarnished or blasphemed.
This is the deal: Christ calls us to be different! And, it isn’t about us. It is about Christ. All. The. Time. Being a follower of Christ is not an add on in our lives. Christ teaches us a set of values and ideals which is distinctive from the way of the world. He calls us to be different; to be counter-cultural. We are not to get our cue from those around us, but from Him, and so prove to be genuine children of our heavenly Father. All through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus carries this theme to be different. He gives the Christian value-system which is as relevant today as it was then.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ lays the trajectory for all of life’s choices. It can be very difficult at times. I have failed miserably many times. I was sidetracked for many years. My heart deceived me!(Jeremiah 17:9) and the serpent deceived my mind. (2 Corinthians 11:3) Sisters, If our minds tend to negotiate, to compromise the gospel, to justify our disobedience, we must be aware of this deception.
Our Lord is gracious and compassionate, and has rescued us through Jesus Christ our Lord! He helps us in our struggles. He will help us to throw off the hindrance of pride and fear of being different than the world around us! He helps us to be salt, light, and hope to a broken world. We must encourage one another to CHOOSE to give to Him our all in humility and a teachable spirit every day. Let’s encourage each other to dig deep into the word of God which will equip us through the Holy Spirit.
Let’s run together, the race God has marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith! Let’s embrace being different!
Love, Kathy x