Misfits vs. Conformists

I know to some, this title may seem like the never-ending Emo struggle. However, I am talking about Christianity. When we hear the word “misfit” we tend to think of a rebellious person, a nonconformist, or a deviant who exhibits aberrant behavior. We could even take it back to the Wild West and equate misfits with outlaws like Jesse James, Bonnie & Clyde or Billie the Kid.

The Oxford Dictionary says that a misfit is “A person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way.” Merriam-Webster defines it as, “A person who is different from other people and who does not seem to belong in a particular group or situation.”

God has called us to be misfits in the earth. He called us to be set apart; we are not to fit in with this world. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Rom 12:2 (NLT).

Not only does God explicitly instruct His people to avoid resembling the world, but He also calls us peculiar. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” – 1 Pet 2:9. The Oxford Dictionary defines “peculiar” as strange, odd, and unusual. According to www.vocabular.com, “Peculiar comes from the Latin peculiaris, meaning one’s own, or personal.” Peculiar is a possessive word. Merriam-Webster says that it is “characteristic of only one person, group, or thing: Distinctive; different from the usual or normal.” We are to own our peculiar nature and not conform to this world.

The word “conform” means to “Comply with rules, standards, or laws; to behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards” (according to Oxford). Essentially, it means to be one of the crowd; to blend in; and to be like everyone else. The Lord called us to be nonconformists. He wants it to be obvious that we are not of the world.

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul – 1 Pet 2:11. The King James Bible Dictionary defines a “pilgrim” as “one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives.” That’s how it is with us as Christians. We live in the world but we are not legal residents of the world. Our legal residency is in Heaven. We were once citizens of the world because we belonged to the god of this world. We became heavenly residents when we accepted Christ and chose to submit to His Lordship. Salvation was the rite of passage by which we renounced our worldly citizenship. Since we are not legal residents of the world, we should exhibit heavenly behavior which is reflective of our place of citizenship.

If we do not yield to God’s instruction, we will end up living according to our fleshly desires. In other words, we will be conformists. Are you a conformist? Or are you the misfit God destined you to be?

~ Tia Laree ~

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