By Amanda Flinn
“Lord, make me different. Make me more like you,” has become a heart prayer of mine over the years. And faithfully, God has been growing me in this area, because I can tell you, it’s not easy to go out into the world and be different.
Different Can Be Uncomfortable
Different can be awkward and uncomfortable and weird.
Remember middle school? No one wanted to be different there, because different stands out. So, we learn to go with the flow, we follow the crowd and we do our best to blend in and be the same. It’s our herd instinct.
We travel with the majority. We travel with the world. And unfortunately this trend didn’t stop in middle school.
No matter what age you are, there are societal pressures to fit in. Some are placed by others and some of these we place on ourselves. Pressure to have sex before marriage. Pressure to have a bigger, better home. Pressure to gossip about a coworker. Pressure to have one more drink.
We often base our decisions on the actions of those around us. We say things like, “Susie is doing it, and she’s a good Christian, so it must be okay”. Or we justify our actions by saying, “I know it’s wrong, but Jesus will forgive me.” Grace, right?
But here’s what happens.
What Sameness Costs Us
The ways of Jesus become a Sunday thing rather than an every day of the week thing. We want Jesus to make us feel good when we need him, but we don’t want to actually change anything about the way we are living.
This plays out in our marriages, too. We want our marriage to be different. We want to succeed and be the cute old couple that ‘makes it’ to the front porch swing in our 80’s, but we don’t want to actually do the work it takes to get there.
We like the idea of different, but we don’t actually want to be different. So, we choose Jesus AND we choose the world, because we think it’s easier that way.
Let me be clear.
What Different Really Looks Like
Jesus doesn’t require us to change before we decide to follow him. He wants us just as we are. But in choosing to follow Jesus, like really follow him, change naturally occurs — first on the inside and then on the outside. You simply can’t spend time with Jesus without wanting to be more like him. You can’t spend time with Jesus without realizing he’s different.
Recently, I was able to watch a few episodes of The Chosen, a series about the life of Jesus, and the largest crowdfunded television production ever made. In the end of Episode 7, while explaining to the disciples why he was asking Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him, Jesus said this: “Get used to different.”
Jesus came to shake things up. How he did things was different. The Pharisees weren’t expecting it. The disciples weren’t expecting it. And if you really get to know him, I think he’ll surprise you, too.
Don’t just go with the crowd. Stand out. Be different. Love big.
Wife Step: Go against the grain this week. Swim against the current. Listen for God’s voice in your daily walk and make a choice, big or little, to honor and give Him glory — even when your choice is different from the people around you.
Amanda Flinn is an award-winning author, blogger and booknerd. As a freelance writer, and the director of Kingdom Edge Magazine, Amanda is passionate about using words to positively impact others. A wife of 16 years, she admits that marriage is the most challenging relationship she has ever had, yet the one that keeps her closest to God. Boymom, dogmom, and friend to anyone who needs one–Amanda wants you to remember that no matter what you’re going through, you’re never alone. To learn more about her debut board book, Yoga Baby, and upcoming writing projects, visit www.amandaflinn.com.
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