Today was pretty bland for the most part. It was another day of classes, another day dealing with my cold, and coming back to my dorm room and falling asleep. Then a friend came in and woke me up. She invited me to hang out with her and a couple others in the lounge, then they disappeared before I was ready. Seeing as how I had just woken up, I did not hear where they were going, so I just sat on the floor until she came back. In the lounge (it’s a small one for the floor’s use) they were setting up a movie to watch. It was an online set similar to Netflix as far as I could tell. I believe the title of the movie they settled on was “The Boy Next Door”. It was about a young man – seemingly very charming – who came to the area to help his grandfather when his grandfather got a bone marrow transplant. The story follows the mother next door who is having marital problems and has a young son (think high school). Bottom line, the dude (who is almost twenty, a senior) ends up stalking this teacher. Warning: there are at least two sex scenes and a flashback. I left before the movie was over.
So. What my mind first goes to when I think about this is that we, as Christians, are set apart. Psalm 4:3-4 “Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.Colossians 3:10 “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator.” Romans 12:12, 1 Peter 2:9, John 17:15-18, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 6:19, and so many other verses that talk about how we are different. I watched about an hour of that movie. Do I think I should have left sooner? It wouldn’t have hurt. Could I have left later? Probably. But I chose to leave early because I did not need to watch that movie. It not only did nothing to help me, but it was an active voice of the devil in my life, particularly because of the sin I struggle with. So I left. And in doing so, I was setting myself apart. I’ve mentioned that I have a hard time making friends, and that sometimes means I’m lonely. Sometimes it often means that I’m lonely. If I had finished watching the movie, it’s possible I would have made a better connection with the other two people and become their friend as well. But something that I have already decided is that I will not let peer pressure or any personal desires negatively influence my walk with God. I’ve mentioned how my dad has been my mentor without me even realizing it. However, he is also my dad, and his primary job is to raise me to follow God. Maybe those two are one and the same; I don’t know. But something he has talked to me about a lot is determining things ahead of time. A very irritating phrase he often uses against me (or for me, but whatever) is “I know you didn’t mean to, but did you mean not to?” I have decided ahead of time that I am not going to watch movies with heavy sex content. I have decided I am not going to listen to music with any cuss words or bad themes…in fact, I try to only listen to Christian music. I have decided I am not going to have sex before marriage. I have decided I am not going to cuss and I will ask the people around me not to cuss. I have made decisions about these things ahead of time so that if something were to happen and I need to make a decision quickly, it’s already been made. We have been set apart. Sometimes that feels lonely. Sometimes you look around, and you think How can I be so alone? If you’re like me, there are times when you can’t help but observe how different you are. Different from the world, but also different from other Christians. There are times when I look around and I worry about making Christian friends in the future when I’m on my own. Being different can be tough. But we have to be different. If we aren’t different, then we aren’t showing Christ.
So if you want to, comment. Tell me about a time when you were different because of your faith. Ask me to pray about something. Or maybe just say hi.