Be Different

Be different. That’s what’s in my head these days. Right now, I seriously don’t have time to do much of anything except think. My hands and body are so busy keeping up with work and all of the other jobs that must be done throughout the week, that siting down at my computer to type is a luxury. I guess I’m on vacation right now, since I have carved out these few moments to write these thoughts.

So how can I be different if I am just as busy as everyone else? Well, that’s a learning process. First of all, the easy one for me is to not antagonize other people. I think we have plenty of those guys around, especially the ones who are protesting everything. The way I see it, our country was begging for someone to come in to the governmental system who had the gumption to take real action. Now that there is someone like that there, we don’t like the action he is taking. Beggars can’t be choosers. So, I take it that all change is good, and will not participate in the protesting and complaining and pointing of the fingers. That’s just antagonistic and adding to the problem, certainly not solving anything.

How else to be different? How about being generous? In everything. That’s a hard one. Giving excess money is easy, I’m talking about giving things that I may not have an abundance of, like time, money I may need, food, clothing, encouragement, love, a listening ear, and patience. Some of these things are material and very common gifts among those of us who purpose to do it. Then there’s the more important gifts, the encouragement, love, and patience. Those are part of the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we exhibit those characteristics, we are actually being more generous than most everyone else on earth. Why? Look around you or just go talk to someone. How many times do you hear the words I, or me when that person is speaking? The self-centeredness of our modern society has become so predominant, we don’t even register it.

When you are exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, you are focused first on God and then on everyone else around you, ready to assist those in need. I’m not talking about Superman here, just having that inward ability to see a person who is desperate for God’s love but hasn’t experienced it. That’s where you step in and show how you are different. You get to show also that the only reason you are different is because of the love you received from Christ. You, then, get to be the avenue for Christ’s love to flow through and reach those around you who need it, whether they are believers or not.

This is not impossible to accomplish. It’s actually really easy. It takes some time and some retraining of your mind. You need to wake up in the morning and look towards God, not towards the mirror. You need to find your knees on the floor and prepare your soul for the day before you hit the shower to prepare you body. It definitely takes more concentration because of all the distractions that are constantly popping up, but you can do it. If you want to, that is. If you don’t really want to make the difference, you won’t make the effort to love God first. You may think you’re making the effort, but at the end of the day, if you aren’t feeling the peace and joy the God freely gives to us all, then you will know.

You may not see the effects of your efforts around you, whether your efforts are genuine or contrite, but the effects will show up on yourself. And even if you don’t see them, others will see. We will see if you have peace or if you are constantly complaining. We will see the joy in your eyes when you are talking with others, or the look of misery or envy. We will see it in your body language, are you happy to be alive or are you just muddling through the day?

You can be different. God’s word guarantees us that we will be different when we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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