Sometimes it’s OK Not to Fit In
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19
I often avoid writing on politics or divisive issues. I’ll occasionally venture into current events, but for the most part, I try to avoid polarizing subjects. My cause is Christ and it’s my desire to point others to recovery and faith in him. So, I often avoid those issues that may drive some away from faith. If I’m honest though, I must also admit that I don’t enjoy confrontation. If given a reasonable choice, I usually try to avoid conflict. I’d like to believe that authentic Christianity appeals to everyone and that if I speak the truth in love, we’ll all agree. I find my faith quite reasonable, and it’s saved my life. So I’d like to present it to everyone in such a way that no one can object to it.
In today’s passage though, John shattered my illusion. In it, he reminded us that as followers of Christ, we are of God. We live though, in a world that is not of God. Rather, the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. If we follow Christ, we will necessarily be at odds with the world. Authentic Christianity is rarely going to be the in thing. Abandoning self, following God, living rightly, and loving our neighbors as ourselves will always be foreign to a world that says Follow Your Heart and You Do You.
I must remind myself of this occasionally. In my desire to get along with everyone, I’m tempted to compromise. I want everyone to accept my faith. I want everyone to know Christ. That’s just not going to happen though. There will always be those who reject my faith and who want nothing to do with God or his plan. I need to know that, accept that, and be OK with that. If I insist on making my faith palatable to everyone, I’ll have to twist my faith into something completely different, which will be no faith at all, but rather just a story I made up.
I don’t need to purposefully be inflammatory and I don’t need to go out of my way to manufacture conflict. The world may hate me and my faith, but God still asks me to love everyone, even my enemies. When I feel I must stand for the truth, I must always do so in love. I must however, accept that the truth I believe in will, by nature, be offensive to a world that doesn’t subscribe to God’s will, but rather follows its own will. Sometimes I must accept that it’s OK not to fit in.