It is not my spiritual purpose to distinguish myself from others and to thereby feel superior. I am different from others in many respects, but that is God’s doing not mine. I am who I am largely because that is the way God made me. In that respect I am very different from others and yet very alike also.
Our past concept of spirituality and the Bible led us to believe that we needed to be noticeably different in attitude and conduct from the majority. This difference was supposedly driven by a desire to please God and a need to demonstrate our faith through actions, thereby drawing the unbeliever into redemption. It was often a duty driven, obligatory response to our understanding of God’s nature and His requirements.
To the extent that I may distinguish myself from others in attitude or conduct, it should be as a spontaneous, joyous reaction to the realization of my own worth and the worth of every other human being in the eyes of God. A love induced response is not and never shall be an obligation. Love’s response transcends the legalistic notion of duty and obedience. It leaves no room for the commonly expressed idea that living my faith is such a great, joyless sacrifice.
If we are different, let that difference develop naturally because we have forsaken the practice of judging ourselves and others, celebrating both our God given differences and our common status as God’s offspring (Acts 17:28).