Variety is the spice of life, and different is acceptable.
I teach about 100 middle and high school students. Every one of them is different…regardless of how hard they try to be alike. Peer pressure attempts to fit them into a similar mold, but their various characteristics and personalities drive them apart. While similarities abound, their differences far outweigh any likenesses. Heights and weights vary, as do shoe sizes, hair lengths, and eye colors. Some are extremely talkative while others are enormously shy. The majority strives to do their best academically, but a few demonstrate their lack of interest in scholastic things.
Israel was and had been different from all other nations. They were a theocracy with God as their king…until the day arrived when they tired of being dissimilar. So God granted their request—to their detriment.
God’s command to his people of old is still binding on me today: Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV). The “them” refers to any person or thing that steals my focus from God and attempts to squeeze me into a mold of similarity. My decision to serve God entails being diverse.
Being different can sometimes carry a hefty price tag. People who are out of the ordinary tend to be attacked. When I raised chickens, I noticed that the flock would pick to death an injured or sick bird. Choosing to be different puts me at the same risk. Others may taunt, ignore, ostracize, criticize, and even attempt to harm me physically. But different I must be. As God’s child, I’m challenged to salt the world with his love flavor while at the same time to be distinctive from what I’m salting. Courage and stamina are needed to maintain my difference, and only God can give me both.
Being different often carries a high price tag. Can others notice the difference God is making in your life?
Prayer: God of strength and majesty, give us the needed strength to come out from among those who would attempt to fit us into a mold not of Your making.