It seems that anything with a Christian meaning or even undertone is seen as taboo today. And it seems like we are always under attack for believing the way that we do. Whether it is a malicious attempt towards us, or a subtle ignoring of what we believe, we are labeled as ignorant, or holier than thou. I know of many who claim to be believers that try to play with the world. They do not take a stand on what they believe for fear of the repercussions they would face from those around them that they believe are friends. They do not want to be seen as different. Or, they see nothing wrong with the worldly lifestyle that contradicts what we learn in the Bible. However, that is not what the scripture teaches about those that choose to follow God.
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God."
Noah was different. Out of all the people on earth at this time, he was the only one who was faithful to God. He did not compromise himself over wanting to fit in with the others in the world. Later in this story we see where he built an ark for him, his family, and the animals to survive a great flood. You can probably imagine what people were saying about him as he did this. But he did not care. He wanted to please God and God alone.
"But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials..."
Daniel made a stand. In the midst of imprisonment in a foreign land, he choose to honor God at whatever the cost. No matter what the consequences were, he was going to be faithful. Even the commander who liked Daniel tried to get him to do as every other person imprisoned did. But Daniel held true, and was blessed greatly by God. He faced trials again when he was later thrown in the lions den for refusing to submit to the King as a god. And once again, God rewarded his faith. Daniel chose to be different.
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
"Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure."
Paul suffered for the Gospel. Paul started out as a pharisee. After his conversion, he did not let anything come between him and sharing the Gospel of Christ. He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, in danger around any corner, yet he choose to follow Christ no matter the consequences. He did not care what people thought about him or did to him. He dared to be different.
Now this is just a sampling of individuals in the bible that choose to stand on their faith inspite of what people may have said, believed, or done to them. They were not ashamed of what they believed. They did not sit back and hope that no one would ask what they thought. They were courageous. They defended their faith against all odds. There was no doubt in what they believed, as is in the case of people today. They say the believe, but their actions contradict it.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17
"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
When we receive salvation we are made to be different. A change happens to us that causes us to want to do away with all that we were before. We no longer have a part in the world in a spiritual since. They do not want us. They are always against what we believe. It is not us as a person, it is the message of the One in which we stand.
"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you."
We need not be ashamed of who we are. We have the honor of being claimed sons of God. It is our job to spread the teachings of Jesus regardless of the consequences. We must take a stand on our beliefs no matter what some body else thinks. Why? Because we are different.
I choose to be different. How about you?
Thanks for reading, and God bless you all this week!