Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? Did it ever occur to you that maybe you aren’t exactly supposed to fit in?
My eyes were opened when I found out a group of folks were doing things that I would not have wanted to take part in. Actually, this has happened more than once.
I decided – hindsight being 20-20 – that I was glad that I had not become buddy-buddy with them. They had shunned me because they knew where I stood. Being buddy-buddy with them would have proved to be a challenge for all of us. I would not have participated in what they were doing, and they would not have changed just for me. The whole situation would have proved awkward at best.
The more you stand up for what you believe, the more you stand out, and the more polarizing you may become. Some of it may have to do with the manner you project yourself. Sometimes there may be more effective ways to present your beliefs. More than anything though, it most likely has to do with what you believe.
Sometimes you have to take a stand. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it is enough for folks to know that you stand for something. What I have found to be true is that when you do take a stand, often it helps those around you to do the same. It’s hard to be the first to speak up. Depending on how you do it, folks may find it easier to take a stand with you and say that you are right.
Consider what Jesus said.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
You cannot stand on the fence. Either you are with Jesus or you aren’t. There is no maybe. When you stand up for Jesus, you will be hated.
The rejection might feel personal. The consequences might be tough. In actuality, the rejection is not about you. Remember, it’s about Jesus. Represent Him well.
Others are entitled to their opinion. They have free will. You are also entitled to your opinion. Stick to it. It was a long time before I wrapped my mind around the fact that just because someone believes something, it doesn’t make it true.
When you change to suit someone else, ultimately you will not feel good about yourself. As important as it may seem at the time to be liked by your peers, it’s more important to be true to Jesus. It’s not only the right thing to do, but when you do, you will feel good about yourself.
Today’s challenge is to learn the value of the pause. Sometimes, you can open your mouth to speak, say a few words, pause, and gather your thoughts while others gather theirs. Then calmly, stand up for Jesus. I challenge you to make a difference today right where you are standing.
If you are feeling like the only Christian in your workplace, perhaps you will find a difference when you let your light shine. Many times I figured out who believed what because I spoke up. The more I spoke about the Lord, the more others did too.