3 Reasons You Should Embrace Your Weirdness

God created us to be weird, unique, and wonderful in our own ways. Living the life Christ modeled for us means embracing who we are – who God made us to be.

Many circles of faith feel like they have a pretty cookie-cutter audience that, more or less, look and act pretty similar. Looking, acting, or thinking differently is often frowned upon, and being an outsider in these groups can feel really uncomfortable.

When we look at the stories in the Bible, we see that Jesus was often associated with people that were “outsiders” in their own right: people with disabilities, foreigners, enemies, tax collectors, sinners, the poor, and even people of other religions. Peter even reminds us that we are “immigrants and strangers,” and the lesson we should take away is that we don’t need to look or act in a certain way to be a follower of Jesus. We should be who we are; that is, who God created us to be.

1. You are Set Apart for Purpose, not prominence

Contrary to the seemingly common understanding of church-goersin the 21st century, being Christian doesn’t somehow make you better than others. Fame or a higher status has never been the name of the game. When Scripture states that you are to act like a foreigner in this world, it doesn’t mean you should use God to make you feel “better” than others. In reality, it’s the exact opposite. Being set apart is about serving others and seeing them as better than yourself.

What sets you apart is everything that makes you unique. For some, it’s experiences that you’ve lived. For others, it’s your habits, hobbies, or interests. Whatever makes you weird, special, or different gives you something you can offer to the world. You were not set apart to hold a higher position, but for a divine purpose. What is that purpose? Inclusion.

2. You are Set Apart for Inclusion, not exclusion

The Church has mistakenly separated itself from the people of the world instead of the ways of the world. In doing so, we’ve made the church a club to be joined rather than a community that all are already a part of. This destructive club mentality implies that there are insiders and outsiders. There are those who are included and those who aren’t. “Christians” distinguish themselves as arrived and make others walk the walk before they can claim to be part of God’s family. 

Instead of acting as strangers to separate or distance ourselves from the people of the world, God calls us toward a life that pushes us to include them. Our weirdness shouldn’t leave people behind – it should be our reason to include those who the rest of the world has placed at the margins. It seems weird to include everyone even if they don’t “fit in” or “deserve” it yet. However, we don’t decide who fits in or who deserves what. Christ is for everyone, which means we are for everyone. That’s what it means to follow the way of Christ.

3. You are Set Apart to Proclaim the Future, not police the present

Understanding the fully inclusive nature of Christ frees us from the desire to critique and evaluate who’s in and who’s out. It allows us to begin the important work of telling others who they already are in God’s eyes. Everyone is included – no matter how weird or different they are. Far too much effort and attention is given to “helping” people be worthy of the title “Christian.” That’s not what God tells us.

A Christian is simply someone who follows the way and life of Jesus. Rather than tell others what they have to do to be “Christian, we should focus on the good news of their inclusion. Without doing a thing, they’d be free to see how their present state already qualifies them for the mysterious grace-filled future that God promises. It would give them space to hope and let the mystery of Christ unfold instead of worrying about the consequences of their brokenness.

Imagine how the world might change if we could offer people a future to walk into over time instead of one they need to fully understand and believe now.

How do I continue exploring my faith?

Peter in his letter to new Christians reminds us that we are “immigrants and strangers in this world.” That seems like an odd thing to tell people. Early Christians weren’t all literally immigrants; instead, Peter was reminding them of something that we often say: “Be in the world but not of the world.”

A lot of us throughout our lives feel as if we don’t quite fit in, we don’t quite see things like everyone else, maybe like we are a little weird. That is okay! More than okay, that is what Jesus expects. He expects us to be set apart, to see things a little differently, and to point beyond the way things are to the way God wants them to be. We can continue walking in the light of God by being exactly who we are, exactly who God made us to be. We can seek to know Christ in our lives without feeling like we have to conform to a mold, and that is the beauty of Christ’s message.

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