The Pursuit


Out of this World

Has it been tough to explain to your old friends exactly why you are so
different? I bet there have been some interesting conversations going on the
past few weeks. Everyone wants to know what makes you act so different. They’re
curious about your new direction in life. Some people just don’t understand.
Maybe you’ve been made fun of or some people won’t talk to you anymore because
you have decided to become a Christian. What happened when your new friends and
old friends met?

Open your Bible to 1 Peter 2:11-12.
Read these verses a few times.

Did you catch that first verse? You are an alien, not from Mars or Jupiter,
but you are someone in a place where you do not belong anymore. In other words,
you are a Christian living in a world that doesn’t understand your faith. In
some ways, you are like a soldier caught in enemy territory. Your old friends
are not your enemy, but they don’t understand why you have changed so they try
to make you go back to your old life.

So, how do we respond to this hostility? We can’t beat people up or resort to
name-calling. The people who are rejecting you are the same people Jesus died
for. In fact, you used to be just like them a few days ago. 1 Peter 2:12 tells us what to do.
We are to live good lives. When we are treated poorly, we treat people nice in return. It
may sound crazy, but we pray for people who do not like us or understand us.
Christians return hate and rejection with love and acceptance. It may be hard to
do, but God will enable you to love people who don’t understand you.

Jesus had some words for us and some things we are to do when people are
hostile to us because of our faith. Read Matthew 5:38-48. Jesus called us to be
good to people who are evil to us so that they can see the differences in us.
Being a Christian means we are different. That means we love people who hate us.
That is pretty radical, I know, but it is something you can do because of Jesus.

Take a few minutes and pray. Pray for your friends who do not understand your
faith in Jesus. Ask God to give you patience and understanding with them. Ask
God to use you to tell your old friends about Jesus.

Remember, we are memorizing 2 Corinthians 5:17 this week. Work on it for a few minutes today.