Have you ever felt strange because of your faith? What if that wasn’t a bad thing? And what if there was a purpose in it?
Paul’s teaching about the risen Jesus to the philosophers of Athens provoked accusations of strangeness: “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears…” (Acts 17:19-20)
It’s telling that Paul didn’t avoid talking about Jesus or the resurrection even though it sounded peculiar to his hearers. He didn’t buckle under any pressure to fit in. As a result, he was able to speak God’s loving truth to people who may have otherwise missed the chance to hear it.
Being different makes a difference. I’m not talk about being different for the sake of being different. Some people go out of their way to appear ‘unique’ and then expect everyone else to applaud them for it. What I’m talking about here is humbly yet confidently embracing strangeness—in how we distinctively speak, make decisions, and live as followers of Jesus.
Being different for God may just be what disrupts the status quo in someone else’s life and compels them to take a second look at the God who wants to be found.
I can recall people in my own life who were compelling because of how they were different. There was the friend who could care less about being cool. As a result he had a certain freedom about him which was… compelling.
Another person was good at talking with the kind of people that others avoided. As a result he shone with an integrity which was… compelling.
Being different makes a difference.
–Upcoming Break: The Up Devotional will go on pause after August 6, returning September 6. I’ll be on vacation!
–Today’s devotional is connected to my latest sermon: “Being different makes a difference.” You can listen (or watch) here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.