We love stories about being different, stories that use a character’s uniqueness to make him or her succeed. Look at Disney’s character, Moana, who was told to stay away from the water, but was drawn to it. Her curiosity for oceanic adventure is what eventually saved the whole island. Miguel (from Coco) loved music even when he was forbidden to listen. Yet his love for music reunited a family. Anne of Green Gables was ridiculed because she thought outside of the box, but her different-ness created more positivity in her town. Peggy Olson (Mad Men) started as a secretary but wasn’t fitting in with the other women. This gave her the boldness to reach for high-paying positions traditionally filled by men. And my favorite: Luke Skywalker, who started out as a kid on a farm who was looking to the stars, hoping to be a pilot. His itch for something bigger led him to save the galaxy.
We all know what it feels like to be different. It’s uncomfortable. We should know by now that it’s OK, great even, to be different than the rest of the world. As Christ followers, we are different. In fact, we are made completely new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
It’s not always easy to stick to “different” convictions. Moana and Miguel feared getting in trouble with their families, Luke faced temptation from Darth Vader, Peggy and Anne dealt with girls who tried bullying them into “normalcy.” We want our characters to stay different, because we can see the whole picture and the value of their different-ness. God is watching your life, rooting for you to stick to your convictions and live out the new life that he made available to you. More than that, he empowers you, through the Holy Spirit, to live the life he is calling you to. You are not alone.
When we become a new creation in Christ, we are called to a new way of doing life. Our behavior, thoughts, and motivations should look differently from how we used to be and from the culture around us. When we embrace the fact that we are foreigners in a foreign land (Exodus 2:22), we can live intentionally out of place by preparing our minds, shaping our conduct, focusing our will, and remembering the cost.
Describe a time in your life when you felt out of place. Was it because of Christ-driven convictions or something else? What did you do?
What benefits do you think can come from others noticing a Christian, a new creation in Christ, acting differently than everyone else?
Make a list of areas that you have felt convicted to change in your life after becoming a Christ follower. Now list some barriers or temptations you face when trying to stay “different” in these areas. Then, think about and pray over ways to stay different as God’s new creation.
Today, we complete 1 Peter by going through 1 Peter 5.
Feel free to simply read through the chapter. Or, you can listen to it through the StreetLights Bible. Download the app or visit streetlightsbible.com.
Dear God, you call us to be different, to be your new creations. Help us to be leery of the temptation to remain stuck in the way we used to be. We know that when others see the differences in our lives, it can work as a catalyst to bring the gospel into their lives. Help us to see these opportunities and to be your hands and feet on this earth. Amen.
This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a former nurse who is now embracing her role as a stay-at-home mom. She is married and has a daughter and a son. She loves writing for this team, and feels she grows a great deal through writing and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.
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