General Patton is quoted to have said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”. So, why do we feel a deep need at times to blend in and to act, think and accept what everyone else promotes as normal. It can feel at times to have independent thoughts, if not aligned with the greater group, also known as “group think,” means something must be wrong with us. However, isn’t this exactly what Jesus said would happen to His disciples (Matthew 10:22)? In truth, we are called to be different, think different and act different than the world around us, and in this way, we stand out, He stands out and others come to know the freedom Christ offers. For He is the true creator and lover of diversity – man is not. So, what are some of the ways, we are called to stand out and not blend in?
Clear Head: Our thoughts greatly determine our outcomes. If we aren’t thinking clearly, we obviously can’t behave most effectively. Therefore, we must clear our minds from the toxins of this world (Romans 12:2). What we see, absorb, consume and digest all feed into our clarity and/or distortions. Therefore, are we absorbing anything that counters God’s word? Better yet, are we investing the time to know God’s word and His ways over the world’s ways and its word?
Clean Heart: We have deceitful hearts – all of us. We can’t help it, but thankfully there is hope for us all. We don’t have to settle for hearts of greed, deceit, envy, strife, anger and worry. Instead, Christ cleans our hearts so that we can become more courageous, more loving, more gentle, more patient, more giving and by His miraculous grace, become more like Him (Ezekiel 36:26).
Caring Hands: Without love, our greatest deeds are void of righteousness (1 Corinthians 13:3). They are empty actions, that cater to our selfish desires and egos in need of approval. However, through clear heads and cleansed hearts, aligned with Christ, our deeds become expressions of His love and our hands serve as they were His own. His body goes to work, lives are saved and hope is restored to the weak and weary.
Application: “Breaking Out” – Ephesians 5:8
The desire to blend in with the crowd can be a powerful stronghold and bondage we tether ourselves to. However, we don’t have to all think alike, look alike, act alike and become “another brick in the wall”. Instead, God makes each of us different, like a snowflake, none are alike. He made us diverse and uses our diversity to strengthen the body of Christ. We all have different gifts, different strengths and different specialization, with one unifying purpose – Christ. Therefore, let us break out from the bondage of blending in, clear our heads, allow Him to cleanse our hearts and go forth to be the hands and body of Christ. Forever and always.