Some folks have been having a discussion about, among other things, being worldly/in the world/loving the world. The statement was made, ““if you look like the rest of the world, there is something seriously wrong.”
First, to provide some context let me ask that you jump over to this site and read the little poem you’ll find there entitled “The In’s and Out’s Of It”.
The poem identifies, if nothing else, that we Christians don’t often get the message right, or live it out correctly.
So, the statement above about looking like the rest of the world… What I think the person is trying to say is Christians should be easily identifiable as being different from the world. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I do not, however, think that this difference is based on “looks” or outward appearance. It absolutely has to do with our actions, our behavior, our character, or most importantly how we love.
I know too many people that think Christians ought to be clean-cut, wear skirts (the women that is), don’t “cuss, drink, smoke, or chew …or go with girls who do”, don’t watch “R” movies, don’t go to pool halls, don’t gamble, don’t dance. I’m sure you’ve seen it – all the major denoms, and all the indy’s have their own lists of acceptable behavior and standards.
Here’s the rub… “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” [Matt: 11:19]
There was an acceptable moral standard of behavior and conduct in Jesus’ day for the average Jewish citizen and in particular for the religious leaders.
Jesus, however, broke the rules. He went to places he wasn’t supposed to go; he talked to people he wasn’t supposed to engage in conversation; he touched people when the law said they were untouchable. Somehow he got the reputation for being a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.You could throw in lawbreaker, outlaw, and that He was immoral as well and it wouldn’t be a stretch.
We are called to be imitators of Christ; He is our role-model.
Glutton, drunkard, friend of tax-collectors and sinners…
What’s your reputation? How does it measure up to the Master?