“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” Romans 12:1-2 (The Message).
When reading the verse in Romans listed above, God instructs all of us to live to a higher standard than what the world expects of us. The comforting part of that instruction is found in the first sentence. “God helping you.” He doesn’t expect us to do it on our own. When we follow the blueprints that He provided (His Word), then we’ll be changed from the inside out. God will bring the best out in us and people will start to take notice. How awesome is that!
Even though the world tells us it’s okay to disrespect our parents, God tells us in Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (NIV). The world may say we’re validated to hold a grudge, but God’s word tells us in I Peter 3:8-9: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
Our purpose on this Earth isn’t to be normal. It also isn’t to have a comfy life where everything goes our way. Our purpose is to share God’s love with those who need Him in their life. It’s to live our lives differently, not obnoxiously or as though we are entitled, but humbly so we can tell others about the grace we experience, sharing that they also can receive the gift we’ve been given.
The best way, in my opinion, to accomplish that goal is to live our lives authentically and to a higher standard. Showing others through our actions and our interests, how we spend our time and what we choose to participate in that we’re “abnormal.” When I am living my life to the extent that others say, “I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something different about you, good different” then I know I am living the type of “abnormal” that would please God.
What about you? Do you live a life that’s abnormal or do you go along with the crowd because it’s easier? Would you feel comfortable inviting your church friends and coworkers to a party alongside your relatives?
I still think normal is overreacted. If we were all considered normal, life would be pretty boring.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell