Our lives should set an example every day of how loving Jesus causes us to live differently. In a world filled with hate, division, violence, and outright evil, we should shine as examples of love, peace, humility, and integrity. It makes no sense to be a Christian if we will spend the rest of our lives behaving as the world does.
Jesus didn’t call us to conformity, but to be a people who are set apart and look unique to the world (1 Peter 2:9-10). If you aren’t willing to live differently, then you aren’t ready for Jesus to be Lord of your life. When you surrender everything to Him, everything will change for you.
When we live differently, people will take notice. We’ll be weird, an anomaly they won’t quite know how to classify or handle. If you’ve got a bit of a rebel streak like me, that alone will be reason enough to live like Jesus. We enjoy drawing attention to Jesus and aren’t afraid of what people might think about us. Even if you don’t have such a streak, remember Jesus spent His entire life living in a way that wasn’t popular, socially acceptable, or appreciated. When you live differently, you live like Jesus. We should need no other reason.
When our character reflects that of our Savior, we will live a different kind of life. Things like humility, honesty, and integrity seldom bring applause from the world at large. Most everyone would acknowledge those are important traits to possess, but the people we celebrate most in the world rarely exhibit such characteristics. Holding fast to honesty and integrity are not the quickest ways to popularity and stardom. In our culture where everyone seems to want to be the next big thing, to get the most followers or likes, it can be difficult to remember what matters most.
Our lives should always look like that of Jesus. He never aspired to be popular, but focused on being gentle, present, and loving others. His was a life of absolute integrity. He always did what He said He would, and He never let down a friend. He was always there for those who loved Him, touching them, healing them, and encouraging them. He lived differently, and so should we.
Integrity takes a lifetime to build but you can lose it in a second. We will have to choose honesty multiple times each day. Instead of always wanting to make sure people hear our opinion and respect it, we should seek peace and recognize which battles we need to fight and from which ones we can walk away from in peace and humility. The thing is, when we live differently when we let the love of Jesus shine through us, we will draw others to Him. We will be living examples of the source of truth and life everyone needs. Don’t hide Jesus from those who do not know Him. Live differently and show them there is a better way.