(Photo by Selma Komisky)
By: Michelle Ochen
I remember the first time I heard the word peculiar, it came across negatively to my ears. After understanding the definition, I still was not sure I wanted it to identify me personally. Yet the more I have grown in my love for Jesus, and the more that has estranged me from the world, I have learned to embrace this idea of peculiarity because a real Christian truly should be peculiar to the world! If your life is looking similar to the life of someone without Jesus Christ as their commander, watch out––there needs to be a heart check, because a heart surrendered and given into the Lord’s control will be inwardly and outwardly different than a unsurrendered life.
We are called to be peculiar. Why, you might ask? Because our peculiarity brings refreshment to the mundane. We serve a miraculous and all-knowing God and when we embrace and allow Him to work His ways in our life the world will look on and wonder. God’s word says that we are to let our light shine so that other people will see a difference in us. They will see the light they are seeking after and then give glory to God above (Matthew 5:14). Are you allowing your light to shine? Are you embracing your peculiarity? I want to highlight three things that happen when we embrace our peculiarity.
First, we become confident people. Not because we have it all figured out in the day to day, but we have confidence in the final chapter. We may drift and take detours along the way, but we have a destination that cannot be shaken. We serve a God with a plan, a good plan, and He has all the resources to accomplish it (Jeremiah 29:11). As children of God, we are inheritors of eternal life. We know where we are headed when this life is done—we know our final stop, and that makes all the difference. This gives us hope, certainty, comfort and peace that the unbeliever does not have. We have confidence in life beyond this short vapor. We have a home awaiting us. This gives us a unique ability to not get too caught up in the pressures and concerns of this life, but to live confident in the God who promised us a place prepared for us for eternity.
Secondly, embracing our peculiarity gives us a sense of purpose that many in the world lack. Because we know where we are going when we die, we therefore know why we are living. We are living to shine the truth and life of Christ to a dying world, to offer the hope of eternal life with the Creator. Knowing this gives us a reason to live. There is nothing else that you can rely upon without disappointment except a life lived out for the life to come, a life taking every day to day decision and action into account for eternity. There is a incorruptible inheritance. No insurance this world can offer is necessary because it is being guarded for us by God Himself.
Lastly, embracing our peculiarity gives us wisdom in the day to day. Do you realize that, as a child of God, you have access to the throne room of grace, to receive counsel, wisdom, mercy, and where Jesus is making intercession before God on your behalf continually? (Hebrews 4:16, 7:25). This peculiarity has given us access and keys to doors the world knocks upon with no answer. We know who we pray to. He hears us and He answers us. His word says that if we lack wisdom, we are to simply ask (James 1:5). We do not have to blindly decide on things since we have been given the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit, of God’s Word, and of His counsel to guide us in this life.
I don’t know about you, but when I reflect on the blessings that come with our peculiarity, it causes me to want to shine a bit brighter, show forth the confidence, the purpose, and the wisdom we have from above and boldly share that with a world yearning for such difference.