Friday, August 26, 2011

On The Outside Looking In

Have you ever been to a church where you had to have the right haircut, your clothes had to be a certain way, you had to speak in a certain manner, act “properly”, think correctly, or any or all of the above?  I think we all have.  It gets uncomfortable when you somehow don’t fit the expected mold.  You’re not accepted as a “serious” Christian.  Or worse, there’s something wrong with you or there must be sin in your life.  People will be nice to you, but the connection isn’t quite there because you’re different.

If you’re like me, the above might have brought to mind some of the right wing fundamentalist churches I’ve visited.  Or some of the pentecostal or charismatic assemblies.  But I’ve seen some churches where denim, punk hairstyles and hip language were the going uniform – looking and acting like what would be a reject in some other churches.  And you were on the outside if you didn’t match that.  And, actually, just because we’re people, there are going to be a set of expectations, no matter what church group we go to.  But a friend of mine, Brandon Alexson, posted a very interesting Biblical list of some of our Bible heroes.  With what’s been said so far, I think you’ll find the list very interesting.

“Jacob cheated, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul committed murder, Gideon was insecure, Miriam gossiped, Martha worried, Thomas doubted, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zacchaeus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.... God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED! Re-post this if you know you are NOT perfect but that God is working in your life anyway :)”.

Interesting, isn’t it?  And he didn’t mention that Moses was also a murderer.  Or that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.  The problem with man made standards is that they lead to the idea that, when God accepts and uses us, it’s because of who we are or what we’ve done.  If we look at the people Jesus loved, ministered to, hung out with, used, it was always weak, sinful misfits like us.  Other people would have to recognize it was God working in us, not anything we did.  And we have to recognize that, despite everything, it’s us that God chooses to use, to minister to and through, to hang out with, to love.  So, instead of being on the outside looking in, God makes us the “in crowd” and we’re on the inside looking out.

How has God ministered to and through you and loved you, today?


  1. Great post! I always enjoy reading your writings.

  2. Thanks Jeremy. Every time God highlights something for me, He also seems to nudge me to share it.