It’s interesting that when we reach a certain level of training we tend to become a bit untouchable. What I mean is that we enter into a certain bracket, and those who don’t enter into that space with us are generally left behind. This idea can be applied in any area of our lives that we are determined to grow in.
For example, generally when people go away to school they leave family and friends. And, while they leave to better themselves by pursuing a higher education degree they return a bit different. More times than not, they realize that they do not fit in quite as easily as they once did. They probably can’t laugh at the same jokes anymore, and an uncomfortable feeling may rise up within them. Is it that they think that they are better than their former community? Do they feel rejected when they try to come back and integrate within the community? Do they feel self-conscious? The answer is yes.
While this is true for higher education, it is also true when we are intentional about growing with Christ. The more we push to know him more, and the more we read his word we become transformed whether we realize it or not. Sometimes we do not recognize the change until we are confronted. When we try to integrate with our old friends, when we try to pick up those bad habits, when we want to just be “normal.”
We can no longer sit in the same places that we used to. We can’t easily abandon the truth that we stand under. So what is one to do in either case? Do we pretend that we don’t know any better? Do we sacrifice the hard work just to be welcomed?
The bible tells us in Matthew 10:14 that “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust from your feet” (NIV). This scripture tells us not the attempt to get others to accept us. We do not have to beg their attention and dumb ourselves down to fit in. We are called, in both cases, to be the light. We are called to educate and to stand firm in who we are.
I want to encourage you not to bend to the expectations of others. Do not be offended if they reject you because you will be the one suffering the most. God has made you brave. If he told you to do something then you must do it. Do not worry about the naysayers. Keep your eyes on the path that is designed for you, and have great expectation that anyone who comes into your sphere of influence will change for the better.
The struggle to be relatable is intricate. You can be relatable by being you! You do not have to go against what you know to be true, the work you’ve done, or your spiritual tugging just to fit in. I believe our desires to fit in do more harm than good.
So in 2017, I encourage you to live fearlessly in who you are, and don’t worry about being relatable because the people to whom you are called will find you, and relate.