Fitting in . . um . .

Do you ever feel like you don’t quite exactly fit in?

Concept of speed - ecologic car

If so, you’re in good company with a long line of people in the Bible.

Noah couldn’t convince one person outside his own family that a flood was really coming to destroy the earth. Talk about lonely.

Abraham moved out of his home country and lived as a cautious stranger in other countries.

Lot lived in misery in a country full of sin.

Job could win an award for having some of the worst friends in history. They kept trying to tell him what was wrong with him while he was hurting and had lost his children.

David was stuck in a kingdom where the king kept trying to kill him. Now that’s what I call not fitting in.

Elisha had a bunch of teenagers making fun of him because he was bald. (I would never recommend making fun of a prophet, by the way. It didn’t go well for them.)

Jeremiah thought he was the last prophet on earth-and complained to God about it.

John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and wore camel hair. I know he lived a long time ago, but camel hair wasn’t the rave in magazines even back then.

John the Apostle lived the rest of his life in imprisonment on an island.

And you know who else did not fit in? Jesus.

Yes, Jesus Himself, the only perfect human who has ever lived, did not fit in. Jesus didn’t fit in not because He was odd or had bad habits, but because He is the Son of God. People didn’t want to recognize that. They ostracized Him, drove Him away from their gathering places, and eventually cried out for His death. Even though He healed the sick, encouraged the poor, helped the needy, and loved everyone, He was shut out of society. In His death, He was murdered outside the most popular city.

Fitting in isn’t important. Following God is. See, the people I mentioned who served God won’t be remembered in Heaven for any oddities they had. They’ll be remembered in Heaven because they trusted Jesus.

Being a Christian is almost like a guarantee against big-headedness and popularity. According to Jesus, people don’t like to hear the truth. Sometimes we think if we could fit in, we’d be really happy. But the reality is, we want to be loved, not popular. The whim of a crowd only satisfies for a moment; the love of God satisfied for eternity. Jesus knew this and, since He is God Himself, He set an example for us to follow, an example of placing love above popularity and truth above applause.

The next time you feel like you don’t fit in, if it’s because you believe in Jesus, remember that you’re in good company!

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (Jesus, quoted in John 16:33b, NIV)



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