At a very young age, we aspire to be like everyone else - to fit in the common bubble and not stick out too much. We grow up thinking that if we stay in the bubble, there is no hurt or shame in there. We have this idea in our heads, that if we are just like everyone else and we accomplish what everyone else does, our lives will be complete or happy. We set ourselves up for failure because GOD calls us not to live in a bubble, but in fact, to break it. Even as babies, we are set on milestone charts and compared to other children physically and mentality from the day we are born. We are so afraid to look different that we compare stature and pounds on infants to make sure we fit in normal parameters.
I will never forget when I had my son. My cousin was also having a child. These babies came a month to the day apart and were compared a lot in their first years of life. Although my son was always very small compared to my cousins’ child, I remember having to remind my family that my 5’6” husband and my being 5’2” would not yield a very tall boy in comparison to my cousin who is 6’4” and his wife who is 5’10”. These precious, healthy gifts from GOD were compared heavily in their first months of life for either being too large or too small, when all are perfect in GOD’s creation. Somehow, we were letting the world’s standards of height and weight have bearing on innocent infants. This is just one example of how from birth we start looking at the world and figuring out what box we fit into, and we let this define who we are as people. Yet, the real truth is we should be defined by Jesus himself.
Our ultimate goal is to look like Jesus in everything we do. The issue is that the choices we make when we are following Jesus will set us apart from others. We will stand out and sometimes you might not always look favorable in the world’s eyes. Being a follower of Jesus means you are okay with looking “weird,” and for most of us, that is the hardest part. For example, to thank GOD publicly for the food in front of us seems easy as a follower of Jesus; yet when we are in a loud, busy restaurant, feeling hungry and tired, it can be easily skipped because the world will look and judge us for what we are doing.
Have you ever done something just because you felt like GOD was telling you to? It is those times when GOD tells us to do something out of our comfort zone and we listen that sets us apart and makes us look more like Jesus and less like the world. I remember having a discussion with a group of people on handing out money to a stranger if someone asks you for it. I have undoubtedly been asked for money on numerous occasions (as we all have), but during this discussion someone expressed the idea that maybe GOD puts things in front of us that he actually wants us to do for a purpose. So, I prayed that this might happen to me so I could see what I would do. About a week later in the grocery store parking lot at night, I was approached by man who offered to sell me a necklace because he needed gas money. I remember being taken aback and scared. My heart was beating so fast, and as I looked in my wallet, I realized all I had were $20 dollar bills. I just handed him $20 bill and to my surprise, he explained that this was too much. I simply stated he needed it more than I did and walked away very quickly. GOD put this situation in front of me to bring out my different, weird side that HE needs to bring to the surface so HE can keep changing me into the person HE wants me to be.
On the other side this coin, at Christmas time outside the post office a man asked if I had any spare change. I told him no because, in fact, I did not. Truth be told, I had barely enough in my account to mail the packages I had just mailed. As I walked to my car a few feet away, I opened the door, sat down, and I realized my door handle had change in it. It was very little and I considered rushing to give this man the small amount of change I did have, but as I looked up another man pulled out a dollar and gave it to him freely, so I left. Out of those two situations, I only feel bad about the one that I did not help, not the one that took more of my income. I was so worried because the man at the post office looked dirty, and being a woman alone, I felt as though I needed to listen to the world’s safety rules rather than GOD’s rules. How many times does GOD say to trust and I did not trust him over a simple matter of some coins? Yes, I could have only given him a few coins, but if that is what GOD is calling me to do, then that is what I need to do. Although, if you look like Jesus, things like this are going to look weird to some, but my goal is to look like and listen to Jesus in all that I do, regardless of the world’s standards. We worry so much about being like others because we feel accepted and loved, but to belong to Jesus himself, we are already accepted and loved beyond all measure. Do not worry about how the world judges you when you do what Jesus calls you to do. Because you belong to the KING, you will always stand out and look different to the world.
To look like Jesus is really hard. It is why we have such great faith and believe that HE is the true way because HIS way is hard compared to everyone else’s. Have you ever looked at someone else’s life and thought they had it so easy? They did not have money trouble, communication trouble, and their kids are well behaved. On the outside their lives look easy and we all want our lives that way. The truth is our lives might not look easy from the outside and might not feel easy from the inside, but the kingdom of GOD opens right in front of us in the hardest time, just as it did for Jesus himself. When we pray, and read GOD’s word we are always enlightened. If we simply aspire to look like Jesus we will undoubtably always pop the bubble of society, but the wisdom waiting on the other side is more amazing than can be described. Jesus was made fun of, mocked, judged, persecuted by those close to him, told he was wrong by the world leaders and yet HE still made the greatest impact in the world despite looking “weird.” Chances are that if we are following the path of Jesus, listening and doing what HE is putting in front of us, it is going to look strange to society. I pray that we find peace as Jesus explained and that we will see and feel grief on this earth (John 16:22), but through HIM we will find peace. It is in HIS promise that we break the bubble and hold tight to his words saying “take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Stay Tuned for Part 2- “How Love Looks Weird” Next Week