Jesus was popular, but He wasn’t mainstream…
The disciples that Jesus called were certainly not insiders…
Many times they did the unexpected, the unusual, the unprecedented, they were outliers.
Jesus even reinforces this when we says: “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
As Christians we are called to be outliers in society…ones who are set apart, not blindly accepting of all things, but perhaps viewing everything through the lens of holiness, or the vantage point of Christ-in us. Does this change things, perception of how we see theworld around us? Absolutely! This vantage point doesn’t make us “holier than though!” or better than others, instead it grants us the very compassion of Christ in us to love those around us. In essence, true Christian outliers are completely humble to God and are willing to submit all for His holy purposes on this earth regardless of the outcome. “He must become more and I must become less” should be our mantra, our aim, our goal.
If our goal is to merely become an outsider or outlier and it is devoid of full submission to God, we are fooling ourselves and our purpose will be misaligned. Being an outsider just to be different isn’t the purpose at all…the same can be said for merely becoming counter-cultural in practice – does not make one holy or even a Christian. These things can exist apart of from God’s purpose for us…but if we approach this faith with the understanding that God will have all there is of us – we will be on the right path, a path marked with sacrifice, suffering and even death sometimes. I do not say this to scare anyone, but we must acknowledge that granting God access to the entirety of who we are is a scary proposition. For in that declaration we will be led to and from places we never would have dreamed or even wanted to go. God desires an obedience that isn’t founded in part-time Christianity , but rather is rooted and formed in the servant heart which is sold-out and fully submitted.
Dare I say, many will call themselves outliers and Christ-followers, but few are truly willing to mean these words found in an old time song:
“Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.”
Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Something more to ponder today!