Do not conform 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.
The best compliment I have ever received was this: “You are different”.
This is not normally something someone like me would be excited to hear. As a chronic people-pleaser and Enneagram 2 (or 1, it’s up for debate right now), living in my midwestern suburban context, I normally would rather not be “different” from those around me.
One of my biggest fears is being perceived as not enough or too much by those around me.
I was given this compliment by a true friend, one who, after looking at the community I was surrounded by, which was a self-declared Christian community where individuals did NOT seek true community, but rather whatever would make them happy for a moment, whether it be drinking, cigarettes or sex (let’s be honest, it was primarily casual sex), that I was different. This statement came out of honest, vulnerable conversations where we built a friendship in what seemed to be a desert of true community.
In this context, what I craved more than anything was a true genuine community. The last thing I wanted or needed at that time in my life was to be consumed by another person’s pleasure. So I became the odd one out who opted out of the normal social “fun” of this group. So, I distanced myself by choice. And it was lonely. It made me different.
“I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable.”
I want to be with the misfits, already knowing that I am a misfit. But you know what I am learning?
Jesus is outside with the misfits.
He embraced the misfits, the different, the ones that the world has a tendency to reject. Maybe being different, in this sense, means drawing closer to Jesus. If that is the case, I want to be different.