Be Different In A Good Way!

Day 24 - Be Different In A Good Way!.png

Dear Younger Me,

If you’re going to live as a Christian in a secular culture, you are going to have to get used to being different!

As you get older, you’ll see more and more that the values you choose to live by are very different to the values of the world around you, and that is not always going to be easy.

It will be tempting to try to fit in at times.  There will be occasions when people misunderstand or disagree, and often they will look at the way you live as if you are trying to follow a set of rules instead of focusing on following Jesus.

Let me encourage you that it’s okay to be different, but to make sure that you’re different in a good way!  Let me explain…

All through the Bible, God’s people are called to be different from those around them.  After the Israelites fail to enter the Promised Land because of fear, God laments their lack of trust but points out that:

“My servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored.”  (Numbers 14:24 NLT)

Different is good when it means remaining faithful to God amidst others who are unfaithful.

Jesus also instructs his disciples that their lives are meant to be different:

“You know that rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different: Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”  (Mark 10:42-43 NLT)

Christians are called to radical lives of love and service, even towards their enemies, that should make them stand out from those around them and should point to Jesus.

However, some Christians can fall into the trap of being different in a less-helpful way – coming across as judgemental and critical, rather than showing love.  Please remember that no matter how different you are from someone else, and no matter how much you may disagree with them, they are still someone made by God and deeply loved by him, so treat them as such.

Being different is a wonderful opportunity to witness if you do it well.  It is also a great reminder of God’s love and grace.  Just last week a friend told me about uncertainty that she is facing over the future of her job, and I was struck by the depth of her anxiety and her struggle to cope.  I remembered being in a similar situation a few years ago (don’t worry – it works out fine!) and the peace I had that, whatever happened, God had a plan and it would be ok.

It made me realise how happy I am to be different.  I can’t even imagine how people make it through the trials of life without Jesus, nor do I want to try!

So live a life that is different and distinctive, but let it be one marked by faith, hope, and love, pointing others to Jesus!

Love,

Me

Dear Younger Me...

This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided.  Today the prompt is “different.”   You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.

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12 thoughts on “Be Different In A Good Way!

  1. Yes, I’m something else again,
    different to the last degree,
    and Christian I shall remain;
    accept this, friend, or flee.
    The way of Christ is singular;
    if you take it, you are saved,
    and I find it peculiar
    that so many are enraged.
    They accept the mandate of the Prophet
    and bow to Buddha’s eight-spoked wheel,
    but the Gospel somehow don’t fit
    into the pantheon of the real.
    I offer this, your soul’s salvation,
    but the train’s already left the station.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy, you really captured the dichotomy. Being different from others outside your belief system and the danger of trying to be better, or different from other inside your belief system. Great note to your younger self.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, Lesley, this is such a great perspective. I think we do “living differently” well when we love intentionally. This is one key that causes us to stand out, and hopefully points others to the One who enables us to love like He does.

    This has been such a great series!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “So live a life that is different and distinctive, but let it be one marked by faith, hope, and love, pointing others to Jesus!” Yes, yes, yes. This is great! I teach my kids that as Christians we are called to live radically. Being holy means being set apart and looking different.

    Liked by 1 person

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