“In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
2 Corinthians 6:4-10
Unconsciously I have developed a routine of daily self reflection. Sometimes I feel like it’s an ongoing process that I can never escape, but I am learning to be truly thankful for this moment by moment inner contemplation.
Everyday I ask myself what makes me different from others around me. And if I am so different, do people notice this difference?
Now this isn’t selfish thinking, it isn’t personal mediation on how much better I am than other people and it isn’t even thinking of how I can better put on the “Christian show” today. For me, it’s all about drawing closer to the God who created me. It’s all about my level of faith reaching new depths that change my very core, which then spurs dramatic outward action that can only be but distinctly seen as “different than the norm”.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that the followers of Christ at his time proved who they were by their purity, understanding, patience, kindness, the mark of the Holy Spirit within them and their genuine love. Those characteristics were their trademark. It was what made them stand out. Paul says that those traits PROVED that they were followers of Christ. Prove is a pretty strong word meaning, “to establish the truth or genuineness of”. He was claiming that the level of their purity,understanding, patience, kindness, presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and love was so great and pronounced in their life that people could not but only KNOW the truth that they were followers of Jesus Christ. It was through the demonstration of these traits that they were seen as genuine Christ followers.
And so I ask you. What in your life “proves” your faith in Christ? What makes you different than others around you? And is it so pronounced that people notice that you aren’t the norm, but rather the exception in this world?
Today, reflect on what makes you you. Reflect on the Godly characteristics that prove your faith in the one that created you.
Just remember, if you can’t see the difference between you and the rest of the world, how can the world see the difference in you either?