Distinctly different living is living in such a way that others know you by certain standards. We are all individuals and we all have different personalities. However, when you align yourself with certain groups you take on the same traits and characteristics that the group is known for in the eyes of others.
I know the bible says that we would be known by the love we have one toward another (John 13:35), but it saddens me that love is not what comes to mind when I think about the Christian Community.
A few years ago, I lived in an area where there was a large Amish Community. I had never spent time around Amish people before. All I knew about the Amish was what I had heard from others over the years. I heard that they lived simple lives, dressed rather plainly, and were reluctant to adopt many modern conveniences such as technology, electricity, or motor vehicle transportation.
I had also heard that the Amish were master craftsmen. I heard that pride of workmanship goes into anything they build. After spending time around Amish people, I found everything that I had heard about them to be true. So how is it that I was able to hear about how a community of people live, then experience the community first hand and have everything I had heard confirmed for me? It’s because the Amish have a distinctly different way of living. Their reputation as a community precedes them. They are distinctly different and their difference follows them wherever they go. Word of their distinctly different way of living reached me years before I ever laid eyes on an Amish person.
Distinctly Different Christianity
This caused me to think about what we call “Traditional Christianity”. It made me put some thought into what makes Christians distinctly different as a group? Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with anything distinctly different about who we are and how we live. Like the Amish, the Christian community is made up of many different people with many different personality types. Yet, I couldn’t think of one single positive thing that people could identify us by as a community.
I know the bible says that we would be known by the Love we have one toward another (John 13:35), but it saddens me that love is not what comes to mind when I think about the Christian community. God’s Word is true, so I know that we will eventually reach the point where love will be our hallmark. But in the Christian communities that I’ve been a part of, love was not what stuck out in my mind when searching for a descriptive term for Christians.
Let’s work together as a family to brand our logo of Christianity and make it synonymous with love. Let’s work together to imprint the idea of love in the hearts and minds of every person we come into contact with. If we walk in love as one body of believers we can literally change the world. Our brand of love will make us a distinctly different people. The world will readily know who we are, not by the bumper stickers on our cars, and not because we are well dressed on Sunday mornings. The love we have one toward another should be the only indicator necessary to alert the world of who we are and who we serve.
I encourage you to take the time to show the love of God to someone. God’s love is contagious. Become addicted to spreading the love of God and as we go about living our distinctly different lives, we will change the way the world see us and God will get the glory!
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