I feel like I’ve been swimming upstream for most of my life. Some times have been less strenuous than others, but there has always been some “unpopular position” between me and the rest of my world. The first, and probably the most important, one was the Sabbath. The Sabbath has always been something to explain to new people... bosses, teachers, even friends. Then there was the no jewelry thing and the no pork or seafood thing. As I grew up I ran into the no alcoholic beverages thing...that’s a really hard concept for folks to understand! And then the biblical morality that people think are just silly and old fashioned. I’ve also run into the evolution vs. creationism wall, the state of the dead and Christ’s second coming. And now I read about this Antiochus guy is supposed to fulfill the little horn prophecy. I had no idea!
Is it at all odd, then, that I feel like I don’t fit in most places? What about you? Do you ever feel like a misfit, even among people you know very well, maybe even your own family?
Abraham did. In Genesis, God told him,
“...Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, …” Genesis 15:13
I know in the context of the verse, God was talking about Canaan, but I think it applies to us as well. We are strangers here. A lot of people don’t get us at all. We’re out of step not with just non-Christians, but often with other Christians as well.
Why do you think that is? I’ve thought about it quite a bit, trying to figure out why it seems so much easier to believe a lie that to believe the truth. I think, as humans, we try to pick the path of least resistance; we want to go with the crowd as much as possible. The problem is, going along with the crowd, in any circumstance, doesn’t take any thought on our part. We fall into the “herd mentality” and just follow along. No thinking, just following, right over the edge of the cliff, just like lemmings.
I believe that God doesn’t want a herd following Him. He wants thoughtful, thinking people who come to Him not because they don’t know any better, not because it’s easy, and not because it’s what everybody else is doing; but because we have weighed all the other options and looked at all the proof and made a careful, educated, logical decision.
Romans 12:2 says,
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Hmmmm… Does that mean that we’re to be non-conformists?
As far as the sinful world is concerned, I think so. If you look at Jesus’ life here on earth, he didn’t really fit in, did He? Not with the church leaders, not with the political leaders, not even with His own brothers. He spent everyday fighting the battle, walking against the crowd. That took courage, strength, energy and amazing love.
So, when you feel like you can’t keep swimming against the current, remember that Jesus is right there swimming with you. He’ll give you His courage, His strength, His energy, and His amazing love — His paddle.