It was one
of those moments that take your breath away and makes an indelible imprint on
your memory. As a third grader I looked
up to my older brother, Brian; he was in the fourth grade. Brian has an ability to make friends with
everyone; he’s just likable. It has
always been that way, and as the youngest in the family I was always following
him around. I saw his friends as my
He was on
his way to meet some of those friends and, as usual, I was tagging along. I can’t remember what made that day different,
or what I did that annoyed him any more than any other day, but he turned to me
and said, “Paul, go find your own friends,” and he walked off. I stood there and was at a loss. It made me feel small, useless, and a
burden. The years have passed and I have
made my own friends, but that moment has stayed with me. It has helped me to see that the world can be
harsh. My brother still tells me I need
to get over it, and we laugh at the memory.
There is another
I have not been known
for my fashion sense.
In fact I look my
best when my wife buys my clothes.
I was in the 9th
grade I owned horses and enjoyed wearing western
apparel, and at that time I was rather fond of corduroy pants with a particular
high wasted corduroy jacket.
and I were in the mall together when I decided to purchase a new jacket.
He accompanied me into the store and waited
patiently as I tried on different sizes.
After watching me for a while the clerk came over and made the comment,
“You know, no one wears those anymore, they aren’t very cool.”
It made me feel small and useless, but Brian
stepped up and looked at the guy and told him, “If my brother likes it, then it
Now, he didn’t think the
jacket was cool, but in that moment he honored me and made me feel important.
is full of people who want you to conform to their image and is quick to let
you know if you don’t.
dissuaded and people treat you differently if don’t fit in, and this is true
for con-conformists as well.
tell when the world infiltrates the church, because it begins to judge people
for not conforming to the socio-economic, racial, and cultural irrelevancies.
Don’t get me wrong Christians are to conform
to the image of Christ.
There are things
that we need to leave behind for the sake of the gospel, but those parameters
are set by Christ.
When the Church is
functioning the way God intends there are no divisions based on race, wealth,
status, national identity, or fashion sense; each person is honored.
12:24-26 “But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that
member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body,
but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if
one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored,
all the members rejoice with it.”
I love the church because it is the body of Christ where
each member has as much value as any other, and when one hurts or rejoices the
rest respond in kind.
I’m just saying…