Dare to be Different

Text: Rom 12:1-2.

 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will. [NIV]

We live at a time when everybody wants to be like everybody. We want to be like the TV celebrities, or those people we consider to be important in our lives. But it important to know that we are known by our differences not our similarities.  People will remember you by how different you were from everyone else. It is ok to be different. What is your favorite color? Can you imagine if the entire world had the only color you love and there was no any other color to choose from? Or imagine that all you had to eat was your favorite food or all you had to watch was your favorite movie. You would soon be tired and bored and wished there was something different.

Recently I listened to a song which had a title “I am not cool but that’s ok.” It is ok not to be cool; that’s what makes others cool. If everyone was cool then nobody would be cool.

The Bible is full of men and women who chose to be different for God. Their belief in God motivated them to be different. At times they were misunderstood but later they made history. Hebrews 11:24-26 tell us that “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” [NIV]

I can see two main things in Moses’ life that motivated him to do what he did, and they are closely related to the passage we read in Romans 12:1-2. These, I believe can be our motivation to dare to be different.

  1. The first motivation is our calling:

Moses knew that he was not an Egyptian. He lived in the king’s palace, ate the king’s food, enjoyed the privileges of the prince but he knew that he was not an Egyptian; he was a Hebrew, he was one of the people of God. Friends, as we live in this world we may have access to the good things that it offers but we are different. Our calling is different; we belong to God. Apostle Paul said:  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy…” Because of God’s mercy we have been saved. And if you are reading this and have not yet experienced the saving mercies of God, you can today. Because of God’s mercy we can chose to be different.

Please note that Moses refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to refuse to fit in the Egyptian religious and identity mold.. Life is made of the choices we make, big or small. It is those choices we make that determine what we are now and what we will be in future. As one person rightly put it, “we  make choices and then choices make us.” Another person said that, “Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones. 

We can dare to be different because of God’s call on our lives.

         2.     The second motivation is perspective.

Moses did not only make decisions according to his current situation but he “saw” the big picture of his life. He knew how his decision would not only affect his life today but also in the years to come. Friends, our choices have a bearing on our present and our future. You are what you are today either because of the choices you or someone else made.

What is more with Moses, he looked at the eternal future; at life beyond this life. “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Friends, there is a reward, in heaven for us. Our life does not end here. If there was no heaven, there would be no reason to live moral lives; there would be no reason to live pure lives. But because there is God and there is heaven, we choose to honor Him by living differently for Him.

All this cannot happen unless we are completely devoted to God. This is what I call surrender. You can make a decision: I chose to live for God no matter what happens.

We must learn to say that “my life belongs to God – all of it, not part of it: my body, my mind, and my emotions. I would like us to remember two things:

  1. I am called by God; therefore I will dare to be different.
  2. My future life will be affected by how I live today, so I will dare to be different.

God bless you.

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