“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13a)
Last night, Travis and I did something that we haven’t done in a long time: we hung out with some people who are outside the church. These aren’t in-your-face-immoral type people. In fact, they are probably “good” people by the world’s standards. But, they don’t know Jesus.
Now, Travis and I aren’t opposed to hanging out with non-Christian people in the right setting and with the right motive; but it seems that we’ve probably gotten pretty comfortable within the confines of our Christian bubble. For one thing, that is where our truest friendships lie–and rightly so. But for another (and I think this is true for Christians and non-Christians alike), it is easier to be yourself when you are with people who are like you.
I can’t lie: there were a few moments last night when I felt uncomfortably different. And, in those moments when my differences were–at least by my perception–blatantly obvious, I found myself wishing I were back inside my bubble. It would undeniably be easier for me to always remain amongst those with whom I “fit in.” But if I never go to where I’m different, then I will miss the opportunity to show unbelievers Who it is that makes me different.
Dear God, thank You for changing me. Thank you for making me different. Inasmuch as my differences will point to You, please help me to unashamedly be the changed me that I am no matter in whose company I sit. May my transformed life be a testimony unto You!