3 Things that will make you ‘the weird one’ at church
There are certain things in life that one just has to make peace with. Certain things that just are. Like death and taxes, there are some things that never change.
I’m the weird one. I always have been, and I always will be. And I have made peace with it. I know where I belong. And, it isn’t here.
I recently learned there is a name for people that tend to rock the boat and stir things up; people who tend to disrupt the regular flow of how things typically work. They are the ones that question everything; the ones that are not content with the status quo. They are called ‘disrupters’.
Oh yeah, I am definitely one of those! Disrupters are definitely the weird ones!
I have found that there are 3 things that will make you the ‘disrupter’ or ‘the weird one’ at church.
1. You don’t live by the mantra, ‘family first’
How many times have you heard the phrase ‘family first’? We see it on commercials and public service announcements almost everyday. We read about it in blog posts, and articles. It has become a popular mantra in our society.
Too often, though, I hear it in church as well.
“Do I spend more time focusing on being a good spouse and parent, or more time focusing on being a godly person?” – Lisa Chan, You and Me Forever
Most of the churches I have encountered, seem to believe that family comes first. it’s all about family. As I hear this being spoken at church, I have to wonder if the person speaking it realizes what he or she is saying.
The American church has made family an idol.
God must always come first. And, not only should He come first, there shouldn’t be a close second. Nothing should come close to God in our lives.
Of course, family is important, but it should never come first in our lives. That spot should always belong to God. He won’t share His position with anyone or anything; not even our family.
When Christ said how we are to love God, He didn’t mean after we love our family first.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
And surprisingly, even though we put families on a pedestal, there are just as many divorces inside the church as there are outside. Maybe if we realized that family doesn’t come first, and put God back in His rightful place, this wouldn’t be the case.
We must put God over our families, the way He intended. Only then can our families be healthy and strong. If we put God first, then the family will be as it should be, UNDER His Lordship.
2. You are not always happy
When someone at church asks me how I am, a million thoughts go through my mind, but I know that I am expected to be ‘fine’. If you say something other than ‘fine’, you will be the weird one. We are supposed to be fine, not real!
Recently my Sunday school class started a video series. The title of it was ‘What Makes You Happy?’ For some reason Christians seem to think that they should be happy. I am always perplexed by this.
My husband and I are not big fans of doing a video series and I am not a fan of talks on happiness. So, I was doodling a barfing face on the handout (I know – real mature!).
The word happiness rubs me the wrong way like the wrong string in a guitar chord. What is happiness? Dictionary.com defines it as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; or joy.
Should we strive for good fortune?
Should we strive for pleasure?
Should we strive for contentment?
Should we strive for joy?
One can argue either way for each of these. In and of themselves, none of these are bad things. God is good and wants good things for us.
Does God want us to have good fortune? Yes, but in eternity with Him, not in this life. We are not to be focused on our good fortune on earth. We need to strive to love and glorify God whether it brings us good fortune or bad.
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
Does God want us to experience pleasure? Yes, I believe He does. However, He does not want us to strive for personal pleasure, it should flow from a close walk with Him.
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man. Proverbs 21:17
Does God want us to be content? Well, content with what? Does God want us to be content with Him? Absolutely! However, He does not desire for us to be content with everything. Jesus was not content with everything.
“He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:15-16
We shouldn’t be content with sin. We shouldn’t be content with the status quo, if that means a church that is lukewarm. We shouldn’t be content with a country that has turned its back on God. And, we shouldn’t be content with people not knowing Christ.
God wants us to be content with Him, while at the same time discontent with the things of this world; things that are not pleasing to Him.
Does God want us to experience joy? I can’t write a YES big enough for this one! He desires for us to have complete joy in Him. Joy is big. His joy is HUGE!
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11
However, joy is very different than happiness.
3. You seek depth
There are a lot of fun activities at churches; jam sessions, bingo night, worship night, Vacation Bible School, Wednesday night dinners, Zoomba, and small group ‘speed dating’, just to name a few. Social activities at church are fun.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fun. I love fun as much as the next person! However, fun can’t be all that is happening at church.
I used to be in a specific group at my church. It was a blast! We all loved to get together and do what we loved most. We had such a good time. But we weren’t challenging each other to grow in Christ, we were enabling each other to just have fun.
At a certain point, I started to notice things. Our conversations weren’t necessarily ‘holy’. We never talked about anything spiritual. And, it didn’t seem to me like most of the people were there to glorify God. They were there because they loved what we were doing, and they wanted to hang out with their friends.
God pulled me away from this group. As a result, I am now able to participate in another group where we do grow spiritually. And, where we do challenge each other.
Life with Christ isn’t meant to be lived on the surface. There if a whole ocean below if we are willing to dive in. Jesus challenges us to . . . . “put out into deep water” (Luke 5:4).
Truly following Christ can result in grief, sorrow, or depression, as well as extreme joy and rejoicing. With these intense emotions comes a necessary depth. And once you go down to the deep, you will never be satisfied with the shore again.
If you are ‘the weird one’ at your church, you’re not alone. There are millions of ‘weird ones’ all over the world. One could say that Jesus was ‘the weird one’ of His day. So, you are in good company!
Follow Christ. Study His Word. Never compromise, even if it means being ‘the weird one’.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you the weird one?