Outsider No More

Come weal or come woe
Our status is quo

– Old Saying

Let’s face it. Most of us prefer to maintain the status quo. It’s painless, well-established, safe. Anything disruptive spells danger, so we go along with those who maintain the status quo. They prey on our sheep-like need for a communal feeling of security even if it leaves us shorn of our freedoms. We want to be included, not excluded from the social norm, so we compromise, even when “inclusion” means branding others in Orwellian terms (see Animal Farm).

One of the many unsettling characteristics of our time, though, is the unreliability of what is status quo: beliefs and assumptions that once took several decades to change, now can change in a matter of years, even weeks as we’re seeing when it comes to scientific opinion on biological gender, psychology, epidemiology. A lot of this change has to do with the political hurricanes blowing around us. They pressure us into jumping onto the currents of zeitgeist so we’re not left out of the “loop,” because who wants to be on the outside looking in on the popular fads or dictates of the moment.

But it has become increasingly difficult to ride the waves of popular sentiment and opinion. We could find ourselves being outsiders in the twinkling of an eye, the mob raging after us, “outed” for unpopular beliefs by our own families, friends, colleagues, and employers. Playing it safe has never been more dangerous than when sociopolitical tides shift rapidly.

“Choose the hill you want to die on carefully,” a wise man once told me. The problem? A terrain of equally worthy hills to make my stand.

No. That’s wrong. There’s only one hill to die on: Calvary’s rise where the greatest battle ever fought raged and one Man died the victor, defeating death once and for all to rise again in glory, and reign over heaven as one day he will over all the earth. In the meantime, he is sovereign over individual moments of history, personally and collectively.

As a Christian, that puts me on the wrong side of history according to the prevailing status quo. But as the Bible tells me, I’ve always been an outsider in this world, a stranger and a pilgrim. I should be ill at ease in a society that tells me that my security and comfort come first. And one day I may have to die on this hill, as an outsider, as Christ Jesus did outside the city walls.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Truth is, with my rebirth and new life in Christ, my status quo changed from the world’s to the kingdom of God’s.

And that makes me an outsider no more, but included in the most secure and eternal kingdom of all, peopled by sinners of every nation, ethnicity, and language, each washed in the blood of the Lamb, knowing a freedom from guilt and sin’s hold.

More than that, I am a child of God, known and loved, surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, united with Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit. And on this hill may I die a worthy death to be raised on that day when Christ returns.

Hebrews 11:13
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God . . . .

1 Peter 2:7-12, 21-25
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. …
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

16 thoughts on “Outsider No More

  1. Dear Dora,
    You’re so wise and offer such comfort. I have no doubt you are serving the Lord most honorably!
    I also have no doubt that finding you, among many, in this crowded sphere, was no accident.
    Know you’re appreciated!
    Susan ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan,
      I feel the same, dear friend. It’s amazing that our union with Christ forges such bonds with those unseen but whose voice we recognize somehow. And it’s certainly no accident that I’ve found a fellow traveler in you through our mutual blogs. Stay bold. Stay firm in faith.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Playing it safe has never been more dangerous than when sociopolitical tides shift rapidly.” This is so true, Dora. I am asking God for wisdom and discernment to not be swayed with all these sociopolitical changes. I do not ever want to be so arrogant as to think that I could never be deceived. I want to be on the side of calvary and not on the popular and wide path. So thankful for your writings sister. Love, hugs and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mandy! Amen to every prayer for wisdom and discernment. May we be found faithful by the grace of God in whom alone we place our trust. God bless and keep you dear sister.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Anita,
      I’m so thankful for God’s promises, to share with one another in times like these. Let’s be encouraged in faith, hope, and love.


    1. Jimmy,
      You’re right. I think the church gets in trouble either when we blur the boundaries between ourselves and the world’s perspectives or we adapt to them. Then we choose wrongly.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “My kingdom is not of this world…” and the two never mix well. So many think the two can be blended, but they will always be oil and water, never truly one.
    Well done Dora! A great post to remind us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dwight,
      I have to remind myself of this regularly. As you say, oil and water. Or a weak compromising mixture of hot and cold, in which case, Christ warns us in Rev. 3:16, “because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

      Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s