Life from the rear-view mirror

God did NOT say “Be ye Weird!” Vol 48

June 24, 2013 | Comment

cropped-sthomas.jpgI trusted the Lord as my Savior when I was 15. Throughout high school and college I never heard the word “weird” applied to me. I’m sure I had my moments, but for the most part I was my own person with at least an effort to fit in. However the kids in school who were noticeably different…OK…”weird”…weren’t treated well. They were laughed at, ridiculed even bullied. They didn’t deserve it…it was just the way God wired them. And for the few who made it a career to be different, if for nothing more than to get attention or make a point, It was harder on them.

We were in Adelaide, Australia on a college tour with YA back at LU (before it was Liberty University…1977 maybe…) and doing high school assemblies…It was a very interesting time. Unlike here in the US…we could actually talk about God and a relationship with him through Jesus We’d give an invitation at the end of the assembly and invite kids out to a huge pizza party that following Friday where we’d give them gospel tracts and material to help them find a good church and begin their walk with God.

We’d have other opportunties to talk to kids about the Lord as well during the 6 weeks we were there. At one of these events Bill Hutchinson aka “Hutch” was speaking. I’ve forgotten everything he said now except one sentence. He said that God called us to be separate, God didn’t call us to be weird.

Now I guess if I’m gonna be fair…one person’s normal is another person’s weird…but for the sake of now…weird is not good. And if you were wondering, weird is not necessarily a moniker of how you see yourself…it’s mostly defined by how others see you. You may have the weird gene and not even know it!

It used to be, and still is in some circles, that Christians were known for what they didn’t do. “I don’t fight, I don’t chew…I don’t go with the girls that do”….whatever.

The point is that while being separate in a spiritual sense allows us to see this world as a temporary residence…we often become jaded by the world. Expecting the worse. Then being offended when it obliges. If you have kids it’s worse. You have to protect them from the big, bad world. So instead of trusting God, standing boldly and loving them like we should…we retreat to “thou shalt not…” and become an ugly culture to the world…. Weird.

Granted, if God called us to be weird, I’d gladly be weird. But when weird  gets in the way of people seeing Christ in me…I have to make some changes…at least the ones that I am actually able to make. Most often that means altering my behavior. Paul said I will be all things to all men that I might win some. The idea being that Paul spoke the Word in a manner that people could hear it…identify with it. What does that mean? Let me illustrate. My profession is sales. Many years ago I went through some training based on Myers/Briggs testing. The purpose of the training was to be able to identify a prospects personality profile by taking queues from the conversation and the prospects surrounds. Then, present products to him or her the way that they would be most like to purchase. No Myers/Briggs back in Paul’s day but you get the picture. Paul was engaged with his audience.

When I drive by a car that is plastered with bumper stickers about damnation and “out of context, in your face” scripture…in one breath I thank God because I know that scripture doesn’t come back unprofitable…but I’m hoping that no unsaved person meets the driver…Here is my experience with these people. In some cases they don’t have much in their hearts and lives beyond the bold words on their vehicles…or they are really “out there” theologically. Maybe that’s not fair…but it is my experience on many occassions.

OK…so we’re all wired differently, people may see us or label us as “weird” regardless of our best efforts to be otherwise. But when we love the lost…and demonstrate that love in the way we interact with the world…that is really hard to deny…

Come to think of it…I’ll bet there were some in Jesus day who labeled him as weird, mad, or crazy…

Bottom line is that the way we live our lives in front of the world ought to make Christ attractive to them in a compelling way. I know…it’s the Holy Spirit who draws them…but we have a part to play. Let’s look in the mirror today and see if we can identify something in our lives that would say “weird” to the world, and ask God to help us change that…to reach the un-reached for Christ’s sake.

Ephesians 5:15

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