“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” ~ 1 Peter 2:11-12 (MSG)
I can remember sitting at my desk in 10th grade French class like it was yesterday. With test in front of me and No. 2 pencil in hand, I sat staring blankly at the paper. After scribbling in a few answers, I turned in my test, mostly blank, to the teacher. You’re probably thinking, ok, so what? You were bad at French. But, au contraire, mon amie, I was a straight A+ student.
My test paper wasn’t left blank because I didn’t know the answers. You see, being smart wasn’t “cool.” All of those unanswered questions were part of my master plan to “fit in” with my peers. Pretty dumb move for a smart girl, but at the time, it made perfect sense to me.
Fast-forward 30 years and, at times, as a Christian, I still find myself trying to “fit in” in a world where “anything goes.” A world where it’s not “cool” to be straight-laced and conservative.
We’ve all heard the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This proverb tells us to behave as those around us do and to conform to the larger society.
As Christians and foreigners (1 Peter 2:11 NLT) in this world, it can be challenging not to follow that standard. It’s difficult to be misunderstood. It’s uncomfortable not fitting in. But, you see, here’s the thing, God never called us to conform to the world (Romans 12:2 NLT) He called us to change it!
In a world where hate runs rampant, choose to love, instead. When the people around you hold grudges, rise above and forgive. Don’t judge, but instead accept people as they are, knowing that everyone has a past.
“Tests” are placed in front of us every single day in this life. As followers of Jesus, we are filled with His Spirit and know the right answers. Don’t be afraid to furnish them because others may not understand.
We are gifted with access to Heaven by our trust in Jesus Christ, alone, and not our works. However, when we arrive, we will each need to stand before God and give an account for our behavior here on earth. Don’t worry so much about “fitting in” in this life, that you aren’t prepared for eternal life.
Dare to be different! Pray for the courage to be the person that God created you to be. The “Romans” around you may not understand, but your Father in Heaven, will be well pleased. (Matthew 25:21 NLT)