DayBreaks for 08/19/13 – Being Different
A sociology professor every year begins his course on “The Family” by reading to his class a letter, from a parent, written to a government official. In the letter the parent complains that his son, once obedient and well-motivated, has become involved with some weird new religious cult. The father complains that the cult has taken over the boy’s life, has forced him to forsake all of his old friends, and has turned him against his family.
After reading the letter, the professor asks the class to speculate what the father is talking about. Almost without exception, the class immediately assumes that the subject of the letter is a child mixed up with the “Moonies,” or some other controversial group. After the class puts out all of the possible conclusions they can think of, the professor surprises them by revealing that the letter, was written by a third century father in Rome, the governor of his province, complaining about this weird religious group called “The Christians.”
Paul made it clear in Titus 2:14 (KJV) – Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. A “peculiar” people? What does that mean? Webster’s says that peculiar means “different from the usual or normal”. It offers some synonyms: special, particular, odd, curious. Does that sound about right?
We are to be peculiar, to be odd, objects of curiosity, different. We like to grab on to the concept of being “special”, but odd and objects of curiosity? Aren’t we much more prone to see to be accepted, fit in, like everyone else?
It seems odd to me that we want to socially fit in with everyone around us. God didn’t call us to do that. In fact, he calls us to be something completely different than that which is around us. Salt is different from that which it seasons; light is different from the dark that it chases away. I believe God wants us to be precisely what Paul said: peculiar. Peculiar, odd things attract attention – they don’t deflect it. People who are odd often choose to be that way on purpose because it draws attention to something they are passionate about. That’s how it should be with us as Christians. The question is: what are we truly passionate about?
PRAYER: We confess that we are too concerned about how we appear to others and not nearly enough about how we appear to you! Take our fears and banish them in the light of your life and the promise of your presence that we may be the odd people, the curiosities that will draw others to you! In Your name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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