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Separate from the World  

Nobody wants to stick out.

Everybody wants to blend in.

That’s the mantra of a middle school kid.

Unfortunately, it’s also the way many of us approach our faith as we navigate our culture. We don’t want to make waves, ruffle feathers, or stick out in any way. 

And that's a problem. Because Scripture calls us to be separate from the world. In 2 Corinthians. 6:17, we hear God calling:

"Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.

What exactly does it mean to be separate? Godly Christians haven’t always agreed. But we know the Almighty doesn’t ask us to wear dorky clothes or speak in King James English.

That said, there ought to be plenty about us that marks us as different.  So different, the world sees us as separate. And that’s not a comfortable place to be.

What grid can we use to make choices that separate us from the world?  J.C. Ryle has some ideas:

The first secret of victory over the world is a right heart. By that, I mean a heart renewed, changed, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit—a heart in which Christ dwells, a heart in which old things have passed away, and all things become new (2Co 5:17). The grand mark of such a heart is the bias of its tastes and affections. The owner of such a heart no longer likes the world and the things of the world, and therefore finds it no trial or sacrifice to give them up. He no longer has any appetite for the company, the conversation, the amusements, the occupations, the books he once loved, and to "come out" from them seems natural to him. Let him who wants to come out from the world and be separate make sure first and foremost that he has got a new heart. If the heart is really right, everything else will be right in time.

So…how’s your heart?

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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