Every year, my husband plays in a golf tournament featuring other NFL players and every year I dread it. While the tournament is well run and it’s fun to see all the former NFL greats, the event is held at a nearby casino. Smoke filled rooms. Mindless gambling. It’s not my favorite environment.
I feel like an alien!
As a Christian, did you ever feel like everyone looked at you like you’re the one from outer space, especially when you were in a worldly environment? Did you decide to appear no different than anyone else in the room so you wouldn’t stand out?
Maybe that’s why Peter said to fellow believers in 1Peter 2:11, Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
But that’s not comfortable, Peter! It’s a lot easier to blend in. You know the saying, “When in Rome….”
But God desires more from us. It’s a lot easier to be a chameleon, adapting to every environment, rather than a vulnerable lamb, who most think should be back at the farm.
In its analysis of 1 Peter 2:11, the Macarthur Bible Commentary says, “In order to have an impact for God on the world, Christians must be disciplined in an inward and private way by avoiding the desires of the fallen nature. Fleshly lusts are personified as if they were an army of rebels or guerrillas who incessantly search out and try to destroy the Christian’s joy, peace and usefulness.”
I get that. There have been many times when I opted out of alien citizenship and embraced conformity so people would like me. Afterwards, there was no joy because I missed an opportunity to be a witness for God. There’s only regret. Why wasn’t I stronger?
If we don’t appear any different from others, there’s no earthly reason for the non-believer to consider a citizenship in heaven.
So as I prepare to cheer my husband on at this year’s golf tournament, I am praying to show Christ’s love to all and to be proud of my alien citizenship, boldly claiming my Christian faith. In a world of misplaced priorities, I want to represent a righteous alternative to the seeker.
What about you? Do you check into every situation as an alien? Or do you store away your heavenly citizenship when it’s not popular?
Lisa Burkhardt Worley