We should look different from the world. I’m not saying we should have blue skin or wear aluminum foil on our fingers or anything like that, but people should be able to look at us and notice we are not like this world we live in.
I used to have a goal to look just like everyone else. As a nearly six foot tall mixed girl, I have always stood out in my surroundings. I spent elementary and middle school in a pretty much all white community. I so desired to be my friends Monica Lake (Hi if you’re reading!) and Stefany Fischer (Hi to you too!) because they were teeny little things that the boys could pick up and people could play chicken-fight with. For those of you not familiar with Chicken fighting- it is a game where two people sit on the shoulders of two other people and face each other for a scrappy fight in the pool. The first person to be knocked over loses. As you probably guessed, I was always on the bottom-half drowning, half supporting my featherweight best friend. Something else both of these girls also had was long, blonde beautiful, silky hair.
You see, growing up, I had the furthest thing from silky hair. I had confused, coarse, stubborn mixed-girl hair. It didn’t curl quite right, but it never, ever, laid flat. My mother would spend hours blow drying it, greasing it down and pulling it back into some form of braid. Somehow, all the hairs in front stood straight up no matter how much spray or grease they were coaxed with. Because I resembled the rays of the sun, my dad called me Sunshine. Because I also resembled an unkempt and rabid dog, my older brother called me Wolfie.
(in my defense, we didn't have a straightener)
I spent every day trying to figure out a way to be more like everyone else. It wasn’t until High School that I became aware of the power in my uniqueness.
Recently, I have been learning more and more about desiring to look like Jesus and not like this world. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have heard and studied this message in about three different forms- true confirmations that it is something I need to write on my heart. Pastor Brett Fuller recently gave an incredible message on this subject, and I pulled three important points from my notes on the sermon:
1. “Every part of our lives should be founded on Biblical principle”
2. “You can be in this world and not of this world”
3.“As a result of who he was, every one wanted to know Who he served.” (in reference to David.)
1. Every part of our lives should be founded on Biblical Principle.
We should weave the Word into everything we do. Every thought should be submitted to Christ, every word should be reviewed by Christ, and every action should be done in obedience. Yes, this is an every day struggle and moment to moment submission, but it is how we show our love for the Lord.
I think as modern day Christians, we tend to compare our spirituality to our friends. We think “Well, I read my Bible MUCH more than her, I don’t really cuss that often, I’m not having sex with my boyfriend…I’m a super great Christian.” We have become so diluted! I am going to step out and say this, so be ready: We really should be surrounding ourselves with people that have the same morals and values as us. I have friends all across the board, but my best and dearest friends , the only friends I truly share life with, lift me up and stand as examples to me of how I want to live. We should not think we are great because we are doing the absolute minimum. Devotionals are great and attending Church on a weekly basis is fantastic, but that says nothing about our heart. Guys, God wants our hearts. All of it. He wants us to measure ourselves against the way He created us to live: in peace, joy, faith, surrender, obedience and love. Just because we do more ‘Christian-Stuff’ than our friends doesn’t mean our hearts look any different from theirs. Challenge yourself to look like Jesus.
2. You can be in this world and not of this world
The Bible is completely relevant. I will say it again, this time in Bold, Italics, and Underlined…The Bible is completely relevant. No, in Bible times they didn’t have iPhones, Skype, Internet Pornography, Smirnoff, Credit Cards, Super-Size meals or anything like that. But they did have Prostitutes, Wine, , A bountiful harvest, slaves, and so on. What am I getting at? Temptation is not a brand new thing. The temptations to be adulterous, impure, lazy, and gluttonous have been around since Adam and Eve sinned. The people in the Old and New Testament faced the same daily temptations as we face in 2012- yet there were a select number of people who chose faithfully to obey the Word of the Lord no matter what.
It is hard to be different. It is so sad to live in a world where purity is made fun of. Where virgins and beautiful men and women choosing so valiantly to save themselves for marriage are ‘weird’ and ‘prude.’ How sad is our Father with the people he created for completely diminishing his call for the purity of our hearts. Some ‘Christians,’ yes, people who say they love the Lord, don’t want to spend time with people that don’t drink or cuss or gossip because they aren’t “fun to be around.” You see, we are supposed to look different than the people of this world. Just because we live in this place doesn’t mean we belong to it.
3. “As a result of who he was, every one wanted to know Who he served.”
Sometimes, we talk too much. I know I do. I have always approached sharing the gospel in the wrong way. I am quick to judge myself and other people, and quick to say that I love Jesus. I have had the pleasure of watching my husband approach this the way I have always dreamed of: His light speaks while his mouth stays closed. We shouldn’t have to explain ourselves or shove the fact that we serve Jesus Christ down people’s throat. Think of the godliest person you know- now think of how often they do that. Never, right? They have a silent voice and a loud light. We shouldn’t have to say “I am Christian, hear me roar.” People should want to know exactly how you live life the way you do. How you are able to praise God in impossible circumstances. How you resist temptation when it’s staring you in the face. How you choose peace in a strife-filled relationship. How you stay faithful when everything is going wrong. My Pastor said, “When the opportunity comes for you to give reason for why you live the way you do, give it." Your heart will speak for you, and Jesus will speak through you.
I challenge you to look different. I accepted that I looked physically different than everyone around me a long time ago, I am now working on my heart looking more like Jesus than the world. Join me, you won’t regret it.