Differences

<<dissimilarity>>

It is not our differences that divide us, but our judgements about each other that do. The Israelites didn’t want to be different and stand out against the other nations, who had human leaders (1 Sam 8:5-22). Do I conform and compromise my standards, so I don’t appear to be different? The peer pressure of what others think is a powerful snare. The Bible's message to us is, "Live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Phil 1:27).

 Saul was told, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power…and you will be changed into a different person” (1 Sam 10:6). We should stand out from the crowd by our devotion to the Lord, which will have a bearing on His outflow from our life and the impact we have in the world. Our salvation will make a difference to our behaviour, thoughts and words. Sometimes these changes happen overnight, other times the transformation is a slow, hard process requiring much effort.  By spending time with God, Moses was a changed man and people saw the difference (Ex 34:28-35).  As a result of prayer and Bible study people should see a difference taking place in our lives as we “are being transformed into His likeness” (2 Cor 3:18).

There will be diverse opinions in every aspect of life – this calls for tolerance with the appreciation of others viewpoints and beliefs. There should be unity in essentials or absolutes that are clearly outlined in Scripture yet liberty or choice in non-essentials allowing for personal preference and tastes with love shown to all. Rather than focusing

In which areas is my life different                              now I know Christ?

on the differences that will lead to isolation and possible discrimination, accentuate and reinforce what you have in common. The Bible instructs us to "Show proper respect to everyone. Love the family of believers" (1 Pet 2:17).

There is a diversity of gifts given to the church; they don’t compete against the others but work together to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:11,12). Likewise, sometimes we just have to agree to differ, whilst continuing to work together for the sake of the Kingdom.

As Christians our lifestyle, values and goals should be different to those outside of Christ; our future destiny certainly will be (Gal 5:19-24, 6:8; 1 Pet 4:2). Am I distinguishable from those who don’t know Christ? It is recorded that there was an obvious discernable contrast that was attributed to having been impacted and transformed by the power of God (Act 4:13). Is my life noticeably changing now I know Christ and living in relationship with Him? Eternity will reveal the distiction between the righteous who serve God and the wicked who do not serve Him (Mal 3:18). 

See also: change, conflict, contrast, controversial issues, peer pressure, tolerate, transform/transformation, unity, variety.


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