2 min read

Being Strange

Being Strange

Peter warns that there will be times when people will think Christians are weird: “…they think it strange that you do not run with them…” (1 Peter 4:4). It’s hard to be different and even harder to be thought of as strange. Let’s look at why this happens, and how we can stay strong and faithful when it does.

Different in who we are. In Christ, Peter says we are a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…” (1 Pe 2:9). We are “pilgrims”, aliens whose home is not here (1 Pe 1:1; 2:11). This difference will seem strange to others at times and make them feel uncomfortable.

Different in what we do. We “…abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pe 2:11). It is after Peter writes that we have spent enough time in things like “lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” that he said, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Pe 4:4 NIV). People feel judged or condemned when others won’t sin with them.

What can we do?

Remember God’s judgement. “They will give account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pe 4:5). It is hard to endure the abuse of being treated as strange, but to change to be like the world is to receive God’s judgement with the world, and that can’t be endured.

See through God’s eyes. “For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Pe 4:6). The world rejects as strange those whom God cherishes. Men may judge us to be worthless, but to God we are alive in Christ forever.

Look to eternity. “But the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pe 4:7). Eternity may begin at any time. Being strange now won’t compare to the glory we receive in the presence of God.

Pray. “Be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Pe 4:7). When we don’t feel like we fit in here, those are especially times when we need to look up to heaven (where we DO fit in). Talk to God about our struggles and ask for help.

Get with spiritual people. “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Pe 4:8-9). Be around godly people who won’t think you’re strange and won’t push you to conform to the world. Create opportunities to be with those who will strengthen you rather than try to weaken or mock you.

Rejoice!  “…rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Pe 4:13). More than just tolerating being called strange, you can be truly happy that others are seeing Christ in you (people thought He was strange too) – and any rejection you feel is offset by the reward you know you have in heaven because of Jesus.      dd