Saturday, April 1, 2017

Do We Stand Out?

A rayon shirtwaist I made in my younger years on a cotton quilt made by my mother. Wonder if rayon, a synthetic fabric, would have been acceptable to wear in Old Testament times.
Did you know there’s an Old Testament law that says it’s wrong to wear a garment made of “mixed fabrics,” and it’s wrong to plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together?  And then there’s the verse that says it’s wrong to cook a goat in its mother’s milk (not that I’ve ever been inclined to cook a goat, period).

According to a footnote in the David Jeremiah Study Bible, the purpose of Old Testament laws such as those found in Deuteronomy 22 was to set the Israelites apart. Perhaps the people of the land the Israelites conquered wore clothing woven of wool and linen fibers; perhaps cooking a goat in its mother’s milk was a pagan custom of worship. God called the Israelites to be “different,” set apart for Himself. If they kept His laws, He would bless them. Then people of other nations would notice and want to know the God they served. It makes sense.

So then I have to ask, what does that mean for me today? How does God ask me as a Christian to be different from people in general? And that makes me wonder if I’m different enough. Are we as a group of Christians different enough so that others take notice? Do people talk about those remarkable Christians at your church, at my church?

I do know that Christians have started mighty movements—hospitals, schools, ministries to the needy and the abused. But still, what does that mean for me?

I made a list. What do I do that a nonChristian would not do, and what do I not do that a nonChristian might do?

1.       I read my Bible and pray daily.
2.       I go to church on Sundays and keep Sunday as a day of rest. While I alone may not be noticed in that practice, perhaps nonbelievers will be impressed if they notice large crowds of believers flocking to church doors. And just what constitutes a day of rest? I grew up in a day of Sunday “blue laws” when stores were not open on Sunday so that people were forced to observe the Sabbath. So I will not go grocery shopping on a Sunday, although I will pick up something I need on the way home from church. But is that any different than shopping for a whole order? Or eating in a restaurant (which I do)?
3.       I serve in church leadership, but that is only noticeable to those in my congregation.
4.       I speak and write about my faith. I’m hoping somebody notices that.
5.       I don’t lie, cheat or steal but rather deal with others with honesty, kindness and love; at least I try to. But there are plenty of unbelievers who do that as well.

Do we as believers truly stand out from unbelievers? I wonder…. Monitor yourself this week and make your own list. Feel free to click on the link below and leave a comment about how you notice Christians stand out from the crowd where you work or play or live. Let’s motivate and challenge each other to be so different that people want to know the Christ we serve. Now there’s Someone who stood out!

Have a blessed day!


Upcoming Engagements:

April 8, 1 p.m. –  Friends of the Heart at Hilltop Christian Church, Newport, for a Ladies Tea, “If Our Closets Could Talk.”
April 12, 10 a.m. – Shirley speaking at the CEF of Dauphin County Volunteer Appreciation Banquet, “Encouraging Words.”

1 comment:

Lanita said...

Excellent points, Shirley! I often wonder the same thing.