Whether it be because of how someone dresses, the things they do, or how they do them, when people stray from society’s standard of “normal”, they can easily become social outcasts. We’ve all seen it, and some of us have even been there before. No matter how weird a person acts or how much it looks like they are sabotaging their own chances at making friends, deep down no one ever wants to be the outcast. Everyone wants to be liked, to fit in, to feel like they belong.
There are many things that can socially separate us from others, but what if the thing that makes you an outcast happens to be something that you hold close to your heart? What if the thing that people don’t like about you can’t be as easily changed as a hairstyle or a new wardrobe? What if it was our faith in Jesus that made us an outcast? Would we be as quick to ditch that in an effort to be cooler? Is our faith in Jesus and relationship with God more important than what people think about us? Do we love Jesus more than the world?
It’s hard to swallow, but eventually every single one of us will have to answer this question. A day will come when you are going to have to choose between God and the world, between God and your friends, maybe even between God and your family. How hard is it going to be for you to decide? Jesus never said that following Him would be easy; actually He said the exact opposite. More often than not, the truth of the Gospel and the life that God calls us to goes against what the world is teaching and how everyone else is living. Fortunately, we know that God is for us, that He gives us strength in times of need, and that our relationship with Him is more valuable than anything this world could offer. So, are you willing to be an outcast for Christ?
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44
God, thank you for your love, thank you for your strength. Lord, I pray that in my weakness, your strength can be revealed, and I ask that you give me the boldness and courage to stand firm in the truth of your word during persecution. Help me to love those that hate you and to pray for those who oppose you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!