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Different Is Okay

October 12, 2013
by Martin Wiles   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

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)

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Martin!
    Food for taught as usual. Thank you!


    Thank you Martin. It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so may I extend a Canadian Thanksgiving wish to you for a lovely weekend in the U.S.


    Hello Martin – your message reminds me that we are in the world but not of the world.
    Blessings.


    Martin – We need to be distinctive. Very often, we don’t seem any different from the world around us; our witness becomes diluted. Thanks for this message today.


    Thanks, Martin, for writing to us. Amen to your prayer and your thoughts.
    I “heard”, Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds as I read your piece this morning.
    Our values do change when we live in fellowship with The LORD as one of His children! Thanks be to God!!!
    This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.


    Thank you for “Different is Okay.”
    I especially appreciated:
    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.
    Keep writing.


    It isn’t easy being “different”. I was always on the outside going to high school because I was not in to all the “activities” others were. I was brought up in the Church and I knew what was expected of me. The motto I followed was “What would Jesus do”. Needless to say I was labeled and laughed at behind my back but I was thankful as I grew older to be “square” because I didn’t have the baggage some others had to deal with.
    Today it is very different mainly because the “words and giggles” have turned to violence, so it is more of a challenge to our young people. The main problem as I see it is that the Sunday School and Church has taken a back seat to sport practises, especially hockey.


    Good message Martin,
    Blessings.

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