Socially “Awkward” Misfits

Just like many other kids, growing up was a wild adventure for me. I played almost as much as I could, and escaped chores as often as possible. For me life was quite simple then; I did about any and everything I knew to be fun. Also, I remember the only motivation I needed for doing my chores or school assignments was the whooping I would get by defaulting, haha.

I’m certain there are many persons on this table, whose only reason as a child, for having their bath and brushing their teeth during the holidays was because they knew they were “gonna see crazy” if they didn’t.

Growing up this way, it was very easy to realise when I began to mature. You know that you’re no longer a child when you don’t need someone to ‘force’ or encourage you to do what you ought to. The ability to discern right from wrong, as well as what’s necessary from what’s just ‘right’ comes with maturity. I love how Paul describes such discipline in 1 Corinthians 6;

It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12 (TPT).

We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfil the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfil it. – Eph. 2:10 (TPT) I love these scriptures, written by the same author. While he reminds us that the foundation of our salvation and faith has nothing to do with our works, still, we must reckon ourselves as the ‘workmanship’ of God, created for a purpose.

By continuing to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s word, we become more conscious of the life we have received and what it demands of us. As we grow in devotion, there are two facts (amongst others) of our new life that are emphasized;

1. The life we have received is different from the world’s

2. We have been set apart for a purpose.

We are different on purpose.

There’s a ‘wisdom’ that comes with maturity. Just like growing up as humans, we begin to discern things as we mature. One of the things we must discern is our difference. The new life we have received comes with new desires foreign to that of the natural man;

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT).

Make no mistake, we have not been made different by accident. Although our physical bodies didn’t change when we received Christ, neither did our accent or anything such; as a matter of facts, we still look like every other person from a physical perspective, however, God describes our difference in comparison to the world to be analogous to light from darkness, or like a city on a hill, and because we have been made different by design God expects us to stand out and not blend in.

“Your lives light up the world. For how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? – Matthew 5:14 (TPT)

Being different means, we cannot always do things as the natural man would. One of the greatest implications of the new life we have received is that we give up rights to ourselves; My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me— we live in union as one!

My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine! – Galatians 2:20 (TPT)

The fear of missing out and other expressions of peer pressure have subconsciously led many to fail to acknowledge that they are indeed different. I get that ‘bugs bunny’ and red lights are fun and trendy, but maturity demands that we learn to discern our difference and how it affects our lives and living. It is important for us to embrace our difference because we have received a new life and renewed spirit for a purpose.

We are different for a purpose.

In learning to embrace the fact that we’ve been made different on purpose, we also learn the purpose for which we’ve been set apart. First, it is important to note that we haven’t been made different to stay isolated from the world, it’s quite the opposite. We have been made different to make a difference. There is a reason why we are instructed to live and grow in consecration. It’s because God intends to make a statement through our lives. Paul calls us God’s work of art in Ephesians 2:10. Peter also describes us as God’s choicest treasures in 1 Peter 2;

But you are God’s chosen treasure —priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. – 1 Peter 2:9 (TPT).

Glory!!! I love how the TPT puts it. Can you read the scripture above one more time before continuing?

We see that God has made us different, has set us apart, but more also, we see why he has done that. This compliments what Jesus said in Matthew 5;

So, don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that your commendable works will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16 (TPT)

We have been instructed to let our lights shine. Remember, light is what we have been made by redemption, light, as against the darkness we were once in. And the instruction is to let this light, that we have received shine before men, men who cannot otherwise discern who we are except by what they see carnally. We haven’t been called out to be timid or compromising. We have been called to stand out!

It is important to let this mentality guide our daily living. We make a difference by being different. As a man rightly said once, as believers, our difference is our advantage, for how else would the world know of the risen Christ? Paul describes what our response should be as believers, acknowledging who we have been made to be;

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. – Romans 12:2 (TPT)

We do not do the world a favour by succumbing to its ways. As we evangelise the world with the gospel of Christ, let’s not be lackadaisical about our conducts as well. To be honest, our difference would not always be well received. Sometimes we may be called out or despised for staying true to the life we’ve received (John 15:10). However, we must never feel pressured or intimidated to act like the life of Christ we have received has no influence on the way we live.

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