What if followers of Jesus were known for being “odd” for all of the right reasons…
It’s ODD when you make $300K a year and choose to live on $100K.
It’s ODD when you struggle to pay your bills and yet you have peace.
It’s ODD when you really want a ‘good’ thing and you haven’t gotten it yet and you remain calm and confident that God is good.
It’s ODD when you get the medical diagnosis that you feared getting and you remain joyful and hopeful even amidst the forecast of suffering.
It’s ODD when your kids are rebelling and you remain gentle, loving, supportive, and confident that God is still in control.
So often Christians think we have to be ODD for the sake of being ODD.
ODD is not simply avoiding certain music or movies.
ODD is not simply celebrating all the “bad” things you avoid.
In one of the clearest passages on how we grow as followers of Jesus, the Apostle Paul tells us that REAL Growth in a FRIENDSHIP with Jesus – is truly about realizing this NEW AMAZING identity that we can never ACHIEVE and that we can only RECEIVE!
Listen to how Paul describes people who have become followers of Jesus:
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…
Chosen. Holy. Dearly Loved. WOW!
The word “holy” literally means to be set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred, different, distinguished, distinct… basically ODD!
It means to be different or distinctive.
I love the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
“There was a time when the church was very powerful – in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society…
We don’t “become” holy through our activity or behaving.
We become holy through belonging to Jesus.
And from this “belonging” we produce a very “odd” and “distinct” life… where we “clothe” ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
What’s the “odd” step God is nudging you towards right now?
What’s the “odd” decision or choice you need to make, but you’ve been stuck in fear?
What’s the “odd” call you need to make, letter you need to write, person you need to forgive, and reconciliation you need to seek?
The greatest news on Earth is that the God who knows everything about you and everything about me is the same God that calls us – chosen, holy, and dearly loved. Celebrate that. Embrace it. Allow that to fuel you to become the person that God says you are!
Now go and be odd!