“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11
CONFESSION: I know this verse is incredibly serious, but every time I come across it, I inwardly giggle.
I mean no disrespect but I can’t help it; it’s the word “alien”! There he is, clear as day in my overactive imagination, all green and E.T.-ish complete with a halo because he’s a Christian alien. Onlookers stare at him- some are unsure what to think, many are afraid, and a few even try to shoot him down!
In a way, that’s the reaction Christians should be getting from the world. We should look and act differently, because we are Christ followers. The temptation is for us to blend in, not make waves or ruffle any feathers- just do our Christ following quietly and unobtrusively. Let’s be honest here, we want people to LIKE us, not think we’re alien freaks!
I am a “legal alien” in Canada. I have to admit, I don’t love the label, and I really don’t feel like one (until I open my mouth and that cheeky little English accent sneaks out!) When I first arrived in the country, I suppose I did feel a little alien-esque; every place was unfamiliar, there were phrases and words that simply didn’t make sense (“Eh?”), and the way of life was very different. But in time, I morphed and adapted, and eventually stopped feeling like a foreigner, and now Canada is well and truly home.
I wonder about the spiritual similarities here. When we are first saved, our faith is new and exciting, we are filled with vigor and we glow Jesus to all around us. We are acutely aware of our surroundings, vigilant in keeping guard against the devil’s schemes, and quick to take every opportunity to share the good news of the gospel. We are different. We are aliens.
But over time, most of us mellow somewhat. We lose our greenish tint and third eye, and before we know it we’ve blended back in with the “normal” humans! In so doing, we lose some of our courageous edge, our desperate need to be close to Jesus, and our ability to detect sin for what it truly is.
How do we prevent our “blending tendencies”? The book of 1 Peter speaks a lot about living holy, good, respectful lives, following the steps of Jesus Himself. He was considered an outsider, and I’ll bet the Son of God felt very much like an alien in this world.
If we embrace the fact that we ARE different because Jesus is Lord of our lives, we’ll have a far better attitude. It’s freeing to know we don’t have to blend in and fit the mold the world asks of us. With a humble spirit and a genuine love for others, we can make the most of every day, every opportunity to share Jesus, every conversation and every deed for Him.
Being an alien isn’t so bad. After all, we are just passing through this hazy, crazy, life and our real home is awaiting us… in Heaven.