I Want to Be Different
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:13-14
"Go in through the narrow gate, because the
gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many
who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is
hard, and there are few people who find it. (NIV)
look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing
formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Donít
fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to lifeóto
God!óis vigorous and requires total attention." (The Message)
I Want to Be Different
by Frank Schaefer
Back when I was a child attending Sunday School, our teacher showed us a picture
of the narrow path and the broad way. Interestingly, I would have chosen the
narrow path up the mountain. The adventurous and wild little path seemed so much
more interesting than the broad way where people were dressed up and seemed to
be strolling about in a boring fashion.
As human beings, we have a lot in common, we are from the same gene pool, but
yet weíre all unique and different. Just like every fingerprint is unique, just
like very snowflake is unique, every single one of us is a unique individual,
similar but different from everybody else. For some reason, we have a tendency
to think of differences as a threat, we are fearful of those who are different
and we are afraid of being different from others and we so we suppress our
differences. We often find ourselves conforming to social norms and value that
we probably don't always agree with. But what if we embraced a maverick attitude
toward the world? What if we defied peer pressure and took pride in being
different? What if we celebrated our differences instead of being afraid of
This is, in fact, what Jesus taught when he encouraged us to follow the narrow
path versus the broad way.
What is Jesus talking about?
Society has its norms and cultural pressures. There
are expectations from our family, from our mentors, from religious leaders and
from our peers.
For instance, our parents often have expectations in
terms of how we should live our lives, what career to take. I was expected to
follow in my dadís footsteps and become an engineer. So, I tried not to
disappoint them and started studying engineering. Two years into it I finally
realized, Iím not called to be en engineer.
Here is what Jesus is saying: Donít just mindlessly
conform to social norms and expectations. Use your head and, more importantly,
use your heart. Discover who you are, what your gifts and talents are and then
follow your own trajectory. Live up to your morals, your convictions, become a
better person. Live your Life and not somebody elseís !
In fact, Jesus is saying: Following the broad way
leads to our destruction, or hell.
Life can indeed be hell if youíre stuck following the wrong path. If you live
your life according to the norms and pressures of society, you will probably be
chewed up in the rat race, be consumed by materialism, and become part of the
injustices and corruption of society.
We may end up giving in to peer pressure and do
things that actually violate our inner convictions and morals. These are actions
we later regret, things that damage us and cause us to walk around with
The truth is, itís difficult to be different and to
stand up for yourself and what you believe. But, Jesus is saying that we don't
have to be afraid to be different. Follow the narrow path, enter through the
narrow gate. We should embrace what makes us different! Why? Here are three
1. Embracing Your Differences Makes You an
Authentic and Moral Human Being
LGBTQ+ persons know something about the importance to accept yourself for who
you are. Itís a matter of identity, its a matter of living an authentic life
instead of a closeted life. Embracing and living your differences makes you an
authentic, truthful person. The same is true for everybody as we need to find
our moral compass, our beliefs and convictions and then start living according
to them, no matter what people think or say. Have you found courage to affirm
and live your differences?
2. Being Different Helps You Make a Difference
Your differences stand out, and the world needs them. Your ideas, perspectives,
and actions are required if you want to positively impact the world! Progress
will never be made if you're just like everyone else. How can YOU make a
3. You Can Use Your Differences to Teach Other
What you try to hide or cover up could be the very thing another person wants to
learn! Instead of making excuses for your differences, explain and teach others
about them! This will help you connect with others and learn to love every part
of yourself. What could you teach others about your differences?
No doubt, living our differences out loud can be
hard, it means that weíre challenging the status quo, but thatís the path we
must choose if we want to live a meaningful life, according to Jesus. It
includes thinking about our choices and behaviors every day, it means going the
extra mile when someone needs our help, it means to recycle even when there
isnít a recycling bin around, it means to say no to peers when they dare us to
do ďcool stuffĒ that really is stupid stuff.
Remember, stop hiding what makes you different and
learn to embrace every part of who you are! Be courageous, be different and live
YOUR God-given life. Amen.