But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light 1 Pet. 2:9
In life, God has created humans as social beings, so it becomes very counterproductive for the individual who decides to operate as an island! We are all to a large degree quite interdependent, whether it’s in the family, workplace or other social environments.
The child of God as part of the society needs the input of others as much as they need his/hers. An obvious distinction will always be noted though, for God’s children who choose to live their lives in accordance with the principles of His word. Living in obedience to God’s word always makes an individual or group go against the grain.
With the passage of time and advancement in technology which greatly impacts on human lifestyles, many vast changes have taken place in the world. The unfortunate truth that accompanies this is that as society advances, so does sin and wickedness! God’s word is not silent on the type of society that we should expect at the times of the end as Paul so clearly outlines in 2 Tim. 3:1-9 as we see below:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
Someone has said that, ‘when sin becomes fashionable, Christians must go out of fashion‘. God calls upon His children to live very different lifestyles from that promoted and accepted by the prevailing world trends. Where there is moral decay in different aspects of life; the child of God must choose to be the difference since he/she is the light and salt in such situations. By so doing, they will be playing their roles as heaven’s ambassadors very effectively; and those they interact with will pick out very clearly the right and wrong ways to live. Jesus, speaking to His disciples told them in Matt. 5:13-16 that:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Going against the grain often means doing things differently from the normal societal expectations; thus going upstream while others are going downstream or vice versa as depicted in the above picture! This is not a comfortable position to be in and the person who makes this choice must also be ready to face certain consequences like, rejection from family, friends, peer desertion, accusation of not being a group player at the work place etc.
Choosing to be the difference will most certainly cause one to be misunderstood and at loggerheads with most people. With the right focus however, it can be very fulfilling because the Kingdom that the child of God represents does not belong to this world. We represent a higher Kingdom, ruled by the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is why Paul writes in the first part of 2 Cor. 2:20 that: ‘…We are ambassadors for Christ,...’ Each child of God has to make the choice as to whether they’ll be the difference or or just blend in with the crowd!
Dear Lord, throughout the ages You have always expected Your children to be the difference and show the way to others who do not know You. We ask for Your help so that we will choose to go against the grain when we have to so that we may be the true ambassadors You’ve called us to be.