“Fitting In”

(RJ bentley) #1

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all well! I wanted to pose a question I have been wrestling with. I want to preemptively apologize if I come across as though I have grossly oversimplified some facts and assumptions.

I understand that we are called to love our neighbor and pray for our enemies. I also understand that Jesus himself was rejected.

How is the Christian supposed to react to not “fitting in” with a particular group? For instance - at work, school, and any other arena that is seemingly an inescapable facet of life.

Further, what if it’s not just one arena of life, but seemingly all? Finally, what if it appears as though you’ve tried all you can to integrate with others and the longing for relationships has turned to hopelessness? I’m not sure how I as a Christian am called to view these circumstances in life.

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(SeanO) #2

@Rjbentley Don’t lose hope! All things are possible with the Lord :slight_smile:

What exactly have you already tried? Do you have at least one very honest person in your life who you could ask to share with you some thoughts they have as to what might be causing your frustrations? It’s amazing what people sometimes know about us but never feel free to say unless we ask and make it clear we want brutally honest feedback.

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(Lindsay Brandt) #3

Hello, @Rjbentley. First of all, welcome! These are great questions. To start, I noticed most of all your talking about longing for relationships. I am wondering, are you part of a church family? Relationships take much time and effort to develop, even in a church with fellow believers, but it is worth pursuing. While you are pursuing relationships with others, though, make sure your anchor and hope is in your relationship with the Lord. That will help to steer you away from hopelessness, as you seek Him in His Word and prayer. He will keep you while you seek out relationships with fellow believers.

As far as how to react to not “fitting in,” I really, really “get” you there! One of my husband’s and my biggest struggles is with his family, who are unbelievers and relish drama. First, we had to prayerfully and lovingly figure out where to draw boundaries. Too low of boundaries will draw us into compromising our faith, and too high of boundaries will keep us from being able to witness our faith! In some cases, the boundaries have to be very high, but I find that is usually not necessary. Paul told his converts in one of his letters that as far as it depends on them, to be at peace with others, and that includes those we don’t “fit in” with. In 1 Thessalonians 4:11, Paul exhorted his converts to work with their own hands and mind their business and lead quiet lives so as to behave properly towards outsiders so that the integrity and witness of the gospel will stay in tact. This does not mean compromising our walk in our faith, but it does mean that we should always be considerate of others, treating them with respect and dignity. Embrace not fitting in, not in a way that is obnoxious, but in a way that shines as a witness and testimony to the work of Christ in your life! Think Daniel! He is my FAVORITE example of someone who did not fit in and handled it well, and I think you may find some encouragement in how he went about honoring God in a society and culture that worshiped other gods.

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(RJ bentley) #4

Thank you so much for your replies! Drawing boundaries is something I will pray on - thank you for those biblical references. I see how Paul’s response parallels making careful boundaries. That is something I have not considered.

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(Lindsay Brandt) #5

Praying for and with you, friend!

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(Billie Corbett) #6

Great response! Lots of practical wisdom there!

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