Odd, distinct, and significantly different
“You stick out like a sore thumb.” I haven’t been specifically told this before, but I can remember a few times I remember thinking it.
When I was a sophomore in college, I decided to begin trying out the sport of basketball. The first time I played, I was horrendous. I couldn’t understand it. I was quick and athletic, yet I couldn’t manage to keep possession of the ball or make it into the basket.
There was one play they passed the ball. I made a really good jump and got an interception. I sprinted down the court but out ran the ball. I slowed down and threw the ball up towards the rim, and it slammed off the backboard and went right back to the other team.
The rest of the game every time I touched the ball people yelled, “don’t shoot, pass the ball.” This was when I realized I stuck out like a sore thumb; I was the odd man out.
Another way I’ve heard it is he/she is “the black sheep.” Two expressions but one meaning: Odd, distinct, and significantly different.
These are three adjectives that people usually would not want to be referred to as. But, as Christian’s this is exactly what we usually are.
Currently, I have been working through a “Summer of Walking with God” with our youth. Here are three things to be aware of when you walk with God.
Christians will be hated by the world
Matthew 10:22, 1 John 3:13, and 1 Peter 4:4 all have something in common. They all address what happens when you become a Christian.They say you will be hated by the world and people will slander you because you no longer plunge into the destructive things you once use to do.
It’s not a fun concept and it certainly doesn’t have a large appeal, but there is a reward. Matthew 10:22 says, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
God says you will certainly be the black sheep and you will definitely stick out like a sore thumb but you will be saved.
When we walk with God our job is to be the light of the world as it says in Matthew 5:14-16. We are to let our light shine before others so that they may see the good works of our father, and allow Him to receive His deserved glory.
We should be consecrated
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
I want you to think of it this way. Imagine the largest highway that you’ve seen or heard of. Now, imagine everyone is walking in the same direction on that highway. Now, imagine a few walking the opposite direction.
Immagine the repercussions for those few.
“You’re going the wrong way.”
“Can’t you see we are all headed this way?”
You would look crazy and most people will never understand why you’re going against the grain.
You will stand out, but you’ll refuse to become a friend of the world. And, James 4:4 says that if you want to be friends with the world, then you make yourself an enemy of God.
Once again, a great reason to be the black sheep.
Please God, not people
One of the most important things to remember when learning to walk with God is to know who you’re trying to please.
This one is hard for me at times. I don’t do a service project or something for God initially to receive a thank you. But, sometimes I find myself discouraged when I don’t feel like the people I am serving appreciate the service, or when I don’t see the fruits of my labor.
Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Seeking the approval of man is exhausting. People are disappointing and they will let you down. But, God never will and nothing sticks out more than someone who sticks with it even when they normally wouldn’t.
So, what are you waiting for? Break the mold and stick out. Be remembered for going against the grain instead of being just another face in the crowd.