Little girlie is a bit in love with the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. She has been walking around belting out bits and pieces of the songs for a couple of weeks now.
Have you seen it? Remember the part where Belle is walking through her town and everyone is singing about what an odd duck she is? How she does fit in? That she’s nothing like them? Her head is in the clouds?
I was thinking about it, and that is really how Christ followers should be seen.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-12
I have shared a few times (Getting Drunk, Grace Filled Speech, What You Eat Matters, Feeding Your Soul, With Every Breath, Imitating, Putting on Love) on how we should be different. It is something I am very passionate about.
What is the Difference?
If there’s no difference between us and the rest of the world, what is the point? (I am not alone in my frustration, in Galatians, Paul calls out Cephas for being no different than Gentiles. While the picture there is Jew/Gentile, I think it is equally important for Christ followers to be different from those who do not know the Lord.)
Christianity in the Western world is watered down to the point of danger. It’s all about feeling good and prosperity. Sin is a taboo word because we might offend someone. How you live your daily life does not matter.
Our faith is not a real a living part of our lives. Just something done on Sundays and possibly Wednesdays.
I can say this with confidence because IF people who claimed the name of Christ LIVED it the word-Titus 2:11-14, James 2:14-26, Philippians 1 and 2, Ephesians 4 and 5, Colossians 3 and 4, and Galatians 5 and 6 (to name a few Scriptures that specifically touch on how Christ followers should live), if claiming the name of Christ wasn’t just some sort of fire insurance, the world would look much different.
- We would stand out, being so radically different from the world because we lived the WORD.
- Our faith would be real and living, not something we put in a box for a certain day or time or place when we take it out to ‘use’ it. We would not be able to contain it.
- Our faith would affect every little aspect of our daily lives. The choices we make, the media we consume, the things we say and do.
- Bibles would not be collecting dust on a shelf or coffee table.
- We would be able to quote Scripture like we quote sports stats or celebrity gossip or the latest plot twist of our favorite tv show or our favorite song lyrics. (And be as excited about sharing what God is doing in our lives with others!)
- We would be a light for the lost, reaching out to them instead of worrying about offending them or buying into the “to each his own” philosophy.
- Loneliness would not be the public mental health crisis that is now considered.
- We would not be so wrapped up in our BUSYness (post on that coming later!) that we do not have time for our brothers and sisters who are struggling.
- We would take care of the poor instead of thinking they need to get a job when we do not know a thing about them or their struggles or how hard they have tried to make ends meat or thinking someone else will help.
- Women would teach each other as commanded in Scripture.
- We would train up our children in the way they should go, teaching them to love the Lord, they would not be leaving the church in such numbers as they are today. (There is still free will, but we have bought into the philosophy that we should not push our beliefs onto our kids. We do not live the difference, lead by example.)
- Relationships and marriages would not be the disposable things they are seen as. (I am not talking about instances of abuse here, but those who “fall out of love”.)
- The church would be known for it’s love and not it’s hypocrisy.
- We would value life as God does.
- We would be His hands and feet.
:takes deep breath:
Got a little carried away there, but for real people, the Word is full of instructions on how we are to live, and many who claim the name of Christ have no idea, or worse, choose to ignore it.
C.H. Spurgeon once said:
If there is no visible difference between you and the world, depend upon it there is no invisible difference.
Does your life look different than the world’s normal? Does it reflect the light of Christ? Not by empty words, but by how you live your life?
My challenge for you, is to look up these Scriptures and use them as glasses to view your life and walk with Christ. Join me in asking God to reveal short-comings in our lives to us and for the wisdom and strength to make the changes necessary for our lives to line up with Scripture. For the strength to be peculiar.