02 Mar Not Like the Others
I learned very early on during my time at Annapolis, that sticking out for the wrong reasons was not a good idea. A familiar anthem (and soundtrack to a nightmare) became, playing off the song many of us learned from Sesame Street, “One of these plebes is not like the others.” When you are noticed for being out of step, late to formation, or not being in the right uniform, trouble is on the way…and quickly.
Drawing negative attention is not something we want. It can be very easy for us to get out of line. Human beings have a tendency to want to be independent. There is an individualistic drive inside of us for acclaim and positive attention. The attention begins to define us, and our drive for independence becomes our compass. It has been that way from the beginning.
All sin is rebellion; it is a declaration that we are the authority in our lives. We are being contrarians…we’ve gone rogue…we do whatever works for us. When we make decisions to do things that are wrong, we are due the punishment of those infractions: death. We are standing out, but for the wrong reason.
This type of rebellion is seen in our relationships with others. When we choose our own way over God’s it hurts all of our relationships, including the one with God. God calls us into community, because we need each other, but on God’s terms not our own. We don’t go into community to satisfy our needs alone but to respond to the needs of others as well. That ensures we will not serve our personal agenda.
In Sunday’s message, we saw Jesus providing a new way to love each other: We can love others to the Glory of God. As Jesus showed us by restoring Lazarus, we can come alongside a friend—no matter their condition—and work towards our shared happiness. That kind of happiness can only be found in Jesus.
When we commit to stand out in the world because we love like Jesus, we are doing what we are called to do. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “[I]f anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.” Our rebellion is no longer against God but against the ways of this fallen world. When they sing, “One of these things is not like the others,” we say, “Thank God!” Only then will people experience Jesus because of us.
Blessings to you,