My kids just went back to school. It always amazes me how they want to both "fit in" and yet "stand out." They want to be noticed as unique, cool, or special in some way...but still not stand out too much. If you "stand out" in the wrong way at school; you get picked on. Although those days were long ago for me, I find that I occasionally still struggle with the same thing-socially and as a Christian.
We want to stand out for Christ; and yet maybe not so much that we are looked at as an "alien" but as unique, cool, and special. However, even in the Bible we are told that this world is not our home. "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world..." I Peter 2:11a (NIV) I don't think it will be long before those who are living for Christ will look a bit more like the "alien" in this world.
Just today on the phone my husband and I were talking about how it is easier to "let your light shine" a little. (Especially at work.) You know that old kids song, "This Little Light of Mine?" by Bill Harley:
"This Little Light of Mine, "
"I'm Gonna Let it Shine..."
"...Hide it under a bushel?"
"NO! I'm gonna let it shine!"
We were discussing how sometimes it's easier to tip the bushel up a little and let just the light flow out here and there - you know, when you 're talking with other believers in Christ. Then to conveniently let the bushel drop back down a bit when you're speaking with others who might not believe in Jesus. Not that you are cursing or telling crude jokes; but that you are being more of a "subtle" Christian.
It is a fine line to "fit in" and to "stand out" isn't it?
Can you really be yourself when you're trying to do both?
The irony here is that most of the "cool kids" (socially speaking) are those who are just being themselves. They aren't concerned what everyone else is thinking about them all of the time; they are just themselves. That is what makes them cool. There is no one else who can be them no matter how they try. And people sure try, don't they?
The truth is that we can't "fit in" and "stand out" as Christians in this world. We aren't meant to completely "fit" here.
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives." I Peter 2:11-12 (The Message)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. I John 2:15-17 (NIV)
God created each of us as an original masterpiece; "just be yourself...you'll be great!" And let the light that is within you shine...
On our way to school this morning!
"Just be yourself; you'll be great" taken from Grace Talk With Daveda
9 hours ago