- Chris Crosby
My coach told me I am an anomaly. When was the last time I had heard that word? I knew the meaning; to be different, a deviation from the norm. His comment caused me to ponder that further. He meant this in the nicest way; that most women my age don't choose this type of workout and stick with it. I'm working out at a gym where I am one of the oldest people there with many members young enough to be my children.
Although the compliment was nice to hear, I reflected on the definition of the word and
wondered if it could also be applied to my Christian walk. In some ways that would be a good thing. In other ways, not so much. We certainly would not want to be known for going against God's Word or His precepts. That is not the kind of anomaly that would bring glory to His kingdom. But what if, in a day and age where many Christians water down the Word to fit in with society,
we did stand out for Christ. That is the kind of anomaly we should demonstrate.
Colossians 3:17 motivates us, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." If our actions align with this verse, we will stand out as those who love and care for others in an exceptional way.
What are some ways we can demonstrate a deviation from the norm in our current life? There are many, but let's focus on peace, joy, and love.
In a world that lives in fear, a person walking in peace really stands out. Jesus promises godly peace in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." We read about supernatural peace in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Notice that the promise is conditional. We must be anxious about nothing and pray about everything, giving thanks. If we are obedient, we experience a peace the world will notice.
John 15:11 continues what Jesus is sharing with His disciples just before He goes to the cross, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." We see joy mentioned again in I John 1:4, "And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." In both verses, it's interesting that the path to gaining joy comes from the Word (these things I have spoken to you, these things we write to you). We live in a world where we could easily be robbed of our joy; however, time in the Word produces a joy that the world doesn't understand, but will notice.
Also in John 15 we see the importance of love in standing out in our sphere of influence. John 15:12-13 requires we love others, "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." First John echoes this in 4:7-8, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." Demonstrating God's love - unconditional love - will definitely be noticed by those around us.
We see much hate, anger, and fear reported in the news and on social media in recent times. What if we took up the challenge to be the anomaly? What if we demonstrated the love, peace and joy of Christ in such a way that others would be drawn to know more? What if living that way drew others to a saving knowledge of Jesus? Anyone want to join the Anomaly Club?