Monday, April 29, 2013

From Faux-Hawks to Faith


People might look at me and laugh.
-That's the point.
But I don't want them to laugh.
-But they won't be laughing at you. They'll be laughing with you.
No. 

And that's where the conversation with my 6-year old ended that day. A stubborn refusal to stand out and an unwillingness to be laughed at. Or with, as I was trying to convince her. 

This was Crazy Hair Day at their elementary school, meaning the choice had no long-lasting implications. I did encourage her to not worry about what other people think. In this way, it is interesting to note how different three children can be, even when they share the same mom and dad. 

On a day when crazy hair was the goal, our oldest daughter still strove to stand out and be noticed. Our son, always a bit quieter in crowds, went halfway. A couple of faux-hawks adorned his melon, something crazy but replicated by several boys. But the 6-year old would not be coerced into being a stand-out among crazies. 

That's fine. But it did get me thinking about how we stand out in other ways, most notably for our faith.

Some are like my daughter, attempting antics to be noticed above the rest of the noise in our world. It's possible to see this done in positive ways. Just imagine any number of colorful ministries, bloggers or pastors. Unfortunately, this is also done in harmful ways. The misguided actions of Westboro Baptist come to mind. 

Some are more like my son, seeing a style they want to emulate, but wanting to do so in the context of relationships. I believe this works, as Jesus used this process when He sent disciples out in pairs to do ministry. 

The biggest danger that any of us face is a refusal to stand out at all. Read the Apostle John's letters and you hear the idea repeated over and again that Jesus' followers would be known by their obedience to His commands and by their love for one another. You get the impression that this behavior would have stood out in contrast to the non-believers. 

It doesn't take more than a glance at the media in our modern society to see the same thing at work today. If we are truly following Christ, it will stand out as being different. So if you are willing to be noticed, try two things. Love one another (1 John 3:11). Obey the commands of Jesus (1 John 3:24). 

Oh, and it might be a good idea to read all the rest of the verses in 1 John 3 as well. 

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