Most of my life I’ve felt like an outcast. Like I don’t belong: I felt differently, viewed the world differently and even acted differently than others. Even at a young age. I grew up in a Christian home and was homeschooled until I reached middle school where I finally entered public school. Here, it was painfully obvious how different I was from everyone else. Which can be intensely more tragic as a middle schooler trying to fit in and make friends. Who wants to be the odd man out? No one!
But as I grew in age, and spiritual maturity, I learned to embrace this feeling in a way. Just hear me out! As christians, we are outcasts. Often seen as weirdos, or strange in the eyes of the world. But we are strange by design you see.
Just look at Abraham.
Abraham: the rebel, the outcast, the follower of God
The bible says that Abraham was told by God to leave his family, his country, and travel to a place where God would direct him (Genesis 12:1). Can you imagine the courage that had to take? Abraham leaving his family, friends, home, and the gods of his people and following God by faith alone. Just like Abraham, we as God’s people are to follow God everyday. Choosing to do what the Bible says in our actions, plans, and decisions.
We are called to follow God no matter what. To Abraham’s family and friends back home, his actions must’ve seemed crazy. I can imagine those conversations.
“Abe! Why would you leave your family?”
“Abe, who is this God you say told you this? We don’t know him!”
So many questions. People will always question who you are, because the things of God are crazy to the world (1 corinthians 2:14).
But God gives peace in knowing who we are as His people. Take this verse for example: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
You see all those titles? Priesthood, holy nation, chosen generation. Not bad for a group of “weirdos”, right? We’ve always been different, and that’s good! He wants us to be different from everyone else so that we can be examples of God’s kingdom to the world.
The bible says we are ambassadors of Christ’s kingdom: “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 corinthians 5:20). What does an ambassador do?
According to National museum of American diplomacy, US ambassadors (a.k.a diplomats) are the President’s highest-ranking representative that represent the interests and policies of the US to a specific nation abroad. They are backed by their nation’s president. Notice too, they often have to learn the language and customs of the nations they live in. BUT, they are still considered US citizens. Effectively in the nation abroad but not of the nation, because they still represent the policies and ideals of the US.
Just as we are to be in this world, but not be like the world. The Lord has already told us who are to be: holy, merciful, forgiving, loving, hardworking, blameless. So that the world can have an example to look to. This isn’t to say don’t have friends who aren’t christians. Simply this: embrace your different. It brings God joy for us to be His people. To represent all He is in how we live and treat others.
The world can be a dark, lonely, confusing place. There are so many questions people have. God has the answers. He has called us to be separate from the world so that we can set the standard for holiness God calls his people to. So we can be an obvious example for the world of what the kingdom of heaven is based on: integrity, peace, love, joy, forgiveness, mercy.