Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Like you were different? That you were the odd one out? I have. In fact, I know what it’s like to be the odd one out very well.
A few years ago, my family and I lived overseas in the little European country of Belgium. In Belgium, I knew I was different. I was an American in a foreign country. I spoke a different language. I had different customs. I believed in different things. I had a different way of life. When people met me, they could immediately tell that I was an American. Being the odd one out wasn’t always fun. At times, I felt alone. I missed America, where I felt a sense of belonging.
As Christians, we are different. We are the odd ones out. We are pilgrims in a foreign land. And it isn’t always the most enjoyable. Because of our beliefs, we are sometimes singled out. Ridiculed and persecuted. Branded and cast away.
We. Are. Different.
Sadie Robertson shares a story about a time when she had the opportunity to travel with a Junior Olympic basketball team to Austria in her book Live Original. On that trip, she realized how different she was from her friends. She was the only Christian in her group, and they behaved and spoke differently than she had been taught. She was called an old, broken down lawn mower for not participating in nightly parties and staying true to her values.
Sadie wasn’t the only one who realized she was different. Her coach told her that there was something different about her, to which she explained that she was a Christian.
Back then, I did not really understand that believers are different from the rest of the world. We need to be different; that’s part of what it means to follow God.
-Sadie Robertson, Live Original
Different is good. Sadie learned that on her trip. As Christians, we are called to be different. We are called to not follow the ways of the world, but to follow in Jesus’s footsteps.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Hold your head up high. You’re different according to this world, and that’s good. Follow Jesus, not the world. It’ll surely put a smile on the Father’s face.