Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dare to be different!

Being a Christian in a Non-Christian environment isn't easy. At school, college, university, work we are often in the minority. It is then that we have to make the decision to either follow the crowd, which often means going against what we believe in, or to go against the flow and dare to be different.

I know when I was starting school, especially just after starting high school, I found it really difficult to know what to do or how to act. I wanted to fit in with my peers but often that meant doing things I didn't agree with. Most of my classmates knew I was a Christian and because of that some of them seemed to constantly watch me, waiting for me to slip up! I had people asking me to 'go on swear' or misbehave. I'd like to say I made it through high school shinning and making a stand for Christ but whilst I wasn't rebellious and didn't join in with what I knew was wrong, I don't think I ever made a true stand for my faith. I just tried my best to blend into the background.

Being a Christian, however, doesn't call us to blend into the background. If we look at the example of Jesus, he actively went against the norms of the times. A Pharisee would consider himself to be too righteous to mix with sinners but Jesus ate lunch with tax collectors and spoke to adulterous women. He broke the rules of the Sabbath by healing the sick and his followers weren't scholars but fishermen, a tax collector and a zealot.

Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." 

As Christian's we are called to be like Jesus and follow his example. As it says in the verse above, we shouldn't conform to the world, rather we need to stand out. We need to be the ones who go and make friends with the person in our class who is always left alone. We need to reach out the sick, the broken, the outcasts and the 'sinners' of our community. We need to stand up for what is right instead of blindly going along with what is wrong. We shouldn't be afraid to stand out for our faith, in fact we should be standing out for our faith. We have to dare to be different. This is my challenge, will you make it yours?

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