A part of me was like any other normal teenager — I wanted to fit in.
Clothing brand was important. Levis. Children with parents who cared at all about their child's reputation made sure that they wore them. Cut back on the groceries and the weekly hairdo. Cook at home. Just make sure it's Levis. And shoes — Converse — high-top and preferably black. None of those generic brands from the local discount store. Work overtime if needed. Just get me Converse. And while I hated school, where I went was also important. Upon our move to a new town and my entrance into high school, my parents enrolled me in the most expensive local private school available.
But there was another part of me that thought, "I don't care what anyone else thinks about …" Different is okay. From God's viewpoint, that attitude is acceptable, preferable, and even expected.
2 Corinthians 6:17a – Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. (NLT)
God had to remind His people repeatedly that they were distinctive.
I can't completely separate myself from sinners and sin. Both infected the world long ago when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and pass on their sinful behaviour to their progeny — me included. But I can be different by staying as close to God-things as possible. When I do, being like "others" loses most of its appeal — unless they're like God. Sinful influences will always attempt to pull us into their web, but keeping our eyes on the perfect pattern of Jesus Christ will entice us to be like Him and different from the norm. Different really is okay.
What will it take for you to be more like the person God created you to be? Whatever it is, He'll provide the strength needed to succeed.
Prayer: Loving Saviour, may our likenesses represent You, even when they entail being different from the norms we observe in others. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Where Cross The Crowded Ways Of Life" (Lyrics)