Sometimes I think my worst enemy is “fitting in.” It’s been a battle I’ve fought since I first started discovered social cliques in junior high. Will I ever fit in? I often wondered back then, and I still wonder that now as I’m adapting to the English culture.
But when I think about it, we as Christians don’t ever fit into this world. We are aliens and strangers in this world, as it says in Hebrews:
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Hebrews 11:13-16 (ESV)
It’s comforting to know that I’m not at home in this world as a Christian… That I belong in a heavenly home, which God has prepared for me. I have hope that I’ll one day be in this heavenly home.
Since we don’t belong in this world, God also calls us to stand out. In the Old Testament, God called the Israelites His chosen people, and commanded them to follow a law that made them different from everyone else in the world. Similarly, God commands us to do the same.
Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
1 Peter 2:11-12 (The Message)
I love the paraphrase of this verse because it’s true—we shouldn’t make ourselves too comfortable in this world. We don’t belong. We need to stand out so God can be glorified.
In this world, I will feel left out. I don’t belong. But with the eternal perspective God gives it doesn’t bother me. I just may need to be reminded every once in awhile.