Being Different

I recently heard a sermon about being different. The sermon was by the pastor where I meet with other Christian brothers and sisters. One thing the pastor brought up that is true is that we as Christians want to be like the world. But as Christians we are called apart from the world.

Does that mean Christians can’t watch TV, listen to radio, get on the internet or join social clubs on the internet? Well, if that were the case I wouldn’t be writing this article. I write it on a computer. I publish on the internet. I get some of my ideas from news stories on the radio and TV.

But we should watch what we watch and listen to. Truthfully, sometimes we do give in to temptation and that’s when we need to repent of our sins. But God enables us to not do so. As Christians, it is helpful to our witness to not smoke or drink (that does not mean it is sin to associate with or talk to those who do), we should dress modestly or moderately.

One thing that Christians don’t do enough of today is care about the needs of other people. Prov. 3:5 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Do we really trust in the Lord? Our Lord Jesus gives us the parable of the good Samaritan to show us who our neighbor is.

After I wrote the above paragraph the fires in Bastrop County, Texas started and there has been an overwhelming outpouring of help for these people. We also recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack on the United States. There was an unusual uniting of American citizens then, too. These things are normal, they are not different. When you have large scale disasters people give generously.

My Pastor gave me a ride into downtown Lockhart, Texas in December 2010. No 9/11 anniversaries, no major fires, just simply one person needing a ride and he gave me one. That’s different. Later he visited my house and found out my lifestyle. Then he helped me in other ways. That’s different and it’s good. It’s also good to help people when no one else will. Prison ministries are a good ministry.

Unfortunately, even in the church, we often do not come together and help people unless there is a large scale disaster such as 9/11/2001 or the Bastrop fires. What about the family in the next neighborhood over? What about the town that attracts a lot of poor people because they can live in peace there?

Being different is good, talk to someone no one else will talk to. I remember when I was looking for my brother the attitude that one Church of Christ preacher showed me was this: “We won’t help you because you are not a member of this congregation, you need to get a church home, but you sure are not welcome here” and that is putting it very mildly. The strange thing is that one of the members of his church was willing to help freely.

Offer some adult a ride to church, pick up a hitchhiker, help an elderly person with their garden, and if the authorities will let you, go visit a stranger in prison, the hospital or a nursing home.. Be different.

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Heb. 13:1-2

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