Do you think you stand out or blend in most of the time? Is your determining factor your appearance or your behavior?
For some, these are quick answers. If you look like most of the people around you at any given time, you might say you tend to blend in; if you don’t, you might say you tend to stand out.
Likewise, regarding behavior, if you behave like most of the people around you at any given time, you tend to blend in; if you don’t, you tend to stand out.
As Christians, being a chosen generation and a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9), we are called to stand out and not conform to this world (Romans 12:1-2).
With this in mind, I thought about blending and how it has its place in many instances. Consider:
- Blending in while singing harmony with a choir
- Blending in as part of a choreographed, synchronized dance group
- Blending in on a factory line to put a specific part in a car
- Blending individual ingredients together to make a scrumptious cake (Okay, that’s food, but take it as a metaphor for people.)
The down side of blending in can look like this, though:
- Kids trying to be friends with ungodly, popular kids
- Laughing at ungodly jokes about someone else or about a group of people
- Buying expensive clothes, jewelry, cars, and houses, just to be like everyone else
- Letting peer pressure lead to ungodly activities, like abusing drugs or alcohol, having affairs, gambling, excessive spending, and viewing pornography
Also, consider the down sides of standing out, like:
- Unexpectedly going rogue with a solo when you’re supposed to sing harmony with the choir
- Kicking left while everyone else is kicking right in your synchronized dance group
- Adding a different part rather than your specified part while on a factory line
- Adding liver to a cake (Nothing wrong with the liver—okay, some people disagree—but it’s definitely not an appropriate use of it.)
We can say many things about blending in and standing out, but ultimately, we can always look to God for what He says about standing out.
“. . . don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4 (NIV)
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. . .” John 15:18-20 (NIV)
As well as:
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.” Proverbs 13:20-21 (NLT)
As for that liver that so many people detest, I think about our own livers and how we cannot survive without them. It is one part of the body that stands out when it is not healthy, but blends in when it’s working in conjunction with the other body parts. You know, the whole, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. . .” 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NLT)
Blessings for being a part of the body of Christ!