Focal Passage: Ephesians 4:17-32
“I wonder what this professor is like?” I stood awkwardly outside of the classroom, during my first semester teaching, with students who had no idea I was the professor. I was only a few years older than my students. I looked like them, dressed liked them and used the same lingo as them.
“I guess we will all find out together,” I said with a smile.
As class started and I introduced myself, students were surprised. Nevertheless, there was an immediate comfort with someone who was seemingly just like them. As the semester progressed, students began to see me as “other.”
While I was familiar with their interests and shared in a similar culture, my life was markedly different from theirs and it wasn’t just because of the professor to student divide. The fact that I was open about my faith and lifestyle made me seem odd.
In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul calls upon believers to live in a way that makes a clear distinction between our lives and the lives of unbelievers (Ephesians 4:17-24). While we live in the same culture and share many of the same customs, the core commitments of our lives are radically different because we live in two different kingdoms.
As citizens of a better kingdom with the better King, we speak truth in moments where others would speak lies. We forgive when others would hold grudges. We give in moments where others would steal (Ephesians 4:25-32). We are, well, odd.
We ought to be a people who are strange to those around – not because we speak in code or all dress alike, nor because we are unable to function in culture. Rather, the priorities of our lives and the affections of our hearts ought to reflect our commitment to King Jesus and His people.