For as long as I can remember the single attribute I have been most persecuted against for, is my faith. Yeah sure, I’ll get poked fun at about losing my hair, or my super small ears, or about my inability to speak clearly. But those instances were always in good fun and light natured. Nothing hit harder than when someone would ridicule me for liking God. I would wear shirts that reflected my love and relationship with God, or cross necklaces, jewelry plainly showing I was a follower of Christ. Very rarely was I met with encouragement, rather it was more disdain. A ,’oh you’re one of them...’ type looks. Being judged so quickly as a ‘Bible thumper’ or ‘straight laced’. The previous insults were far more often from the secular crowd. They were usually the types of individuals more focused on having a good time, gaining popularity status, or following their own daily shifting desires. However, what really surprised me was when I got heat from people I thought were on ‘my side.’ The ones who had an upbringing in the church and carried with them a Christian title. I can remember dating my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and how her and her best friend at the time, attend a Christian high school. I remember in our first year of college together and having a conversation with this individual. The very judgmental disregarding question towards me was,’Oh, I bet you even have bible verses memorized don’t you???...’ With a condescending eye-roll and giggle afterward... Wow...I thought that was a good thing right? And back then I didn’t understand it, but now I think I do. I was talking to a person who was part of the sacred world. A person well versed in church doctrine. Do’s and don’ts. Law. Religiosity. Hierarchy. Not the gospel. Not grace. Not the character of God. Not the nature of The Son and The Father. I learned two things later in life from this. One- it wasn't her fault, this was what she was taught, she was part of a religious system I didn't really understand. And two- is that if you’re going to truly follow God, you aren’t really going to fit in.
With either the secular or the sacred world. And that’s okay, because you weren’t made to...and for the record, neither was Christ. The secular world won’t understand you because you walk to a different tune in your head. You focus on the things that God would have you focus on. The things that would glorify God, not self. The things that would honor your Creator, not your career. The things that are foolish in the world of man, but are wise in the kingdom of God. And how about the sacred world? The sacred world won’t understand you because you’ll focus on the grace of God, not the judgement of God. You’ll focus on His power to do away with sin, not focus on sin and others' sins. You’ll remember that God is a God of relationship, not religion. So when you inevitably don’t fit in, don’t attribute it to doing something wrong, or that maybe there's something wrong with you or your faith.
God didn’t make us to fit in. He made us to be different. To stand out. To be the light of the world. For others to see Him in us, as we see The Father in The Son.