Usually, we don’t like to be known as the weirdo. A weirdo is someone who seems strange or eccentric. They just don’t fit in. If we remember back to our days in Junior High, we all tried desperately to not stand out. We all have this innate desire to belong. Sure, there are those who like to buck the system, but even those who are considered on the fringe are usually part of a “fringe” group, so they still belong to something!
This desire to fit in can be a good thing, but it also can be a hinderance to our spiritual life and the life of those around us. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, addresses the issue of partnering up with the world. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Like it or not, we are weird. We don’t fit in. This is by design, since as believers we are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). We have been made new, and that means our whole worldview, purposes, goals and priorities are to be different.
Paul, in 2 Corinthians, was dealing with a church that had become quite friendly and accommodating with the culture around them. They were still practicing the idolatry that was expected of good citizens at that time. Paul quotes an Old Testament passage from Deuteronomy 22:10 which would have been familiar, especially to the Jewish believers – don’t mix with the surrounding nations. Here, Paul applies it to the whole world system that is opposed to the things of God.
Peter continues this thought in 1 Peter 2:12 – “Keep your behavior excellent among the gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (judgement).” If that isn’t applicable for today, I don’t know what is! How often have we, as Christians, been accused of being narrow-minded, unloving, hateful and judgmental as we hold to God’s truth. Maybe some of the charges have been earned, but most of the time it’s due to an unsaved world that doesn’t want their deeds exposed. Expect this to get worse. The more we hold to the faith, the more we will stand out (2 Tim. 3:12). Yet we are exhorted to stand firm, continue to do the good deeds we have been doing in Christ Jesus, knowing we will get blow-back. But God also promises that we will be exonerated in the end as we stand before Him, and those who slandered us will have to give glory to God for the good deeds we have done.
Paul exhorts Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:14a, to “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of.” We, too, are to continue to live such lives that others will notice. As we continue to live like this, the culture will continue it’s downward slide. As the differences grow, we will stand out more and more. We can expect to be slandered, sidelined and hated (of course, they hated Christ first). Living in this country, we are often taught not to take guff from others, but that isn’t what following Christ requires. We are told to be different in our responses. Our natural response when attacked is to retaliate in turn, but we are told to leave that to God (Romans 12:18-19).
Talk about being weird. Standing firm, not taking revenge, and looking forward to our Savior’s words of “well done!” is most unusual in this world. But that is what it takes as we journey forward to that country that will be home. So stay weird my friends.