‘Where are you from?’

If you’ve ever moved significantly from one place to another {as in changing cultures}, you’ve probably heard this question. ‘Where are you from?’ And at first it may be funny, and you don’t mind explaining your lovely ‘accent’, but after awhile, it can get aggravating. Because you are figuring you should be starting to blend in at some point. I mean, maybe you won’t sound exactly like the ‘locals’ but…c’mon, surely you don’t still sound that different. Right?

globeSo when I read this the other morning while doing my devotional time, it caught my attention.

“A few Christians shy away from organized religion, but the vast majority, while they recognize the imperfections of the churches, nevertheless feel that they can serve their Lord better in the church than out of it. There is, however, one serious flaw in all this: it is that…the majority of those who confess their faith in Christ and enter into association with the community of believers have little joy in their hearts, no peace in their minds, and from all external appearances are no better morally than the ordinary educated citizen who takes no interest whatever in religion and, of course, makes no profession of Christianity. Why is this?

“I believe it is the result of an inadequate concept of Christianity and an imperfect understanding of the revolutionary character of Christian discipleship. True faith brings a spiritual and moral transformation and an inward witness that cannot be mistaken. These come when we stop believing in belief and start believing in the Lord Jesus Christ indeed. True faith…requires that we meet certain conditions, that we allow the teachings of Christ to dominate our total lives from the moment we believe. The man of saving faith must be willing to be different from others. The effort to enjoy the benefits of redemption while enmeshed in the world is futile. We must choose one or the other; and faith quickly makes its choice, one from which there is no retreat.

“The change experienced by a truly converted man is equal to that of a man moving to another country. The regenerated soul feels no more at home in the world than Abraham felt when he left Ur of the Chaldees and set out for the land of promise. Apart from his own small company, he was a stranger to everyone around him. He was called ‘Abraham the Hebrew,’ and if he spoke the language of the people among who he took up his dwelling place, he spoke it with an accent. They all knew he was not one of them.” {Man – Dwelling Place of God, Tozer…emphasis mine}

So what caught my eye in all that? Well, I love watching HGTV’s House Hunter International. It’s the easiest {and cheapest} way to ‘visit’ other countries that I would probably normally never go {not a big fan of change}. Plus, you get to see places you might not ever find while just visiting because you are looking through the lens of someone who is wanting to actually take up residence there, so they want to know how they will live and function in this new place.

And when the show re-visits them, whether months or weeks later, they all say the same thing. ‘We love living here but it’s certainly been an adjustment. And no matter how much we are learning the language, we still stand out somewhat.’

Which makes me wonder. After all these years of walking in relationship with God, do I still ‘stand out’? Do people still notice something ‘different’ about me {aside from the usual ;) }, or do I now just blend in? Am I, like Tozer said, no different from the person who doesn’t follow Christ or even claim belief in Him?

Do I read what everyone else does?
Do I watch what everyone else watches?
Do I listen to what everyone else listens to?
Do I talk like everyone else does?

How am I different? [And, to be clear, I'm not just referring to what you see on the outside of me. I'm talking about my heart. Because my heart is where everything comes from that is who I am.]

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” {Proverbs 4:23, NLT}

If my heart has been truly changed, I should have an ‘accent’ when I speak. There should be something about me that seems just a little…different from the rest. I should walk, act, and live in a changed manner….whether or not I am a ‘member’ of a church or not. Because being a member doesn’t mean a thing if my heart hasn’t become new.

“Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.” {2 Corinthians 5:17, GOD’S WORD}

And just as we don’t consider it weird when someone moves to a new country, neither do I think that becoming a new creation means becoming strange. I think it simply means that the old way I had of thinking, acting, speaking, and living is no longer a perfect fit for the new creation I am becoming. And when I try to act or live like everyone else or like I used to, it should feel like an old ‘outfit’ that has shrunk a size or two. Not comfortable and doesn’t look so good anymore.

So how about it? If you claim to follow Christ, do you have an ‘accent’? Is there something just slightly different about you that makes people say…’Where are you from?’

I hope so.

{Image courtesy of Flickr}

About suehill3k

I'm a stay-at-home wife, mom, and blogger. I love spending time with my family and enjoy sharing things I learn each day with them. Maybe something said here will help you along your way! God bless...
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