If a sailor didn't understand the lingo. If he dressed funny and couldn't preform his duties, he was cast off from the ship and the profession.
Let's face it, all of us want to belong. We want to fit in. Have friends. Be popular. But in order to do so, you have to behave a certain way, dress a certain way, speak a certain way. You have to become a sheep. Remember High School? It was all the kids that were different who got picked on, who stood out from the crowd and weren't allowed in.
So, who do you notice? It's the person doing something different. The person swimming against the tide. The person doing something extraordinary and totally unexpected.
Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead let your lives be so in contrast as to expose and reprove and convict them. Ephesians 5:11 Amplified
What saddens me is that when I examine the lives of many Christians in America, I can't tell them apart from anyone else. They get divorced, have wayward kids, have drinking and drug problems, have extramarital affairs, cuss, throw temper tantrums, behave selfishly. They hoard money for their future, buy luxury items, and are stingy with their charity (Good grief, do we believe in Heaven or not? Why are we storing up riches here?). In addition, many are sick and dying and impoverished. (I realize people get sick and die, but when we profess in a God who heals, shouldn't we have a lower rate of illness? Just saying).
So I ask you, why would anyone be drawn to Christianity? Where's the contrast with the world? It would seem to me that it's a pretty bum deal. You have all these rules to follow, have to go to church on Sunday, and you still have all the same problems as the world does. No thanks.
For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light Ephesians 5:8 Amplified
Just imagine with me for a moment what a group of Christians completely sold out for the Lord would look like:
- Families would stay together and love each other. Kids would grow up normal and loved.
- No drug or alcohol addictions. No abuse.
- People would live a life of high morals. Honesty, Integrity, Goodness. You could count on them
- People would help each other in time of need
- People would love each other
- People would always have enough
- People wouldn't be sick all the time
- People would be happy, joyful and fulfilled with their daily tasks
Now, wouldn't that be attractive to this dying world? I know it would have been for me before I met the Lord. I was looking for this kind of life. I wanted fulfillment, happiness, peace and love. I looked everywhere in the world.. even at Christians I knew, and couldn't find it.
(note: I don't advocate the prosperity Gospel which says the Christian life is all fun and happiness. We do have struggles. But they are good struggles with good endings, driven by God and used for our good. And it's how we handle these struggles that matters. With faith, patience, love, perseverance? or do we grumble and complain and walk away from God? The World is watching! )
Why are we melding with the world? Our lives should be so different than those around us, that we should be a beacon for all to see. Some will be drawn to us. Others will mock. But at least we are letting God's light shine through us. At least we are doing something rather than spending our time here on earth pleasing ourselves.
Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise, sensible, intelligent people, making the very most of the time because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:14-17 Amplified
Live a life of contrast!