Judges 3:5 (NIV): “The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.”
I have lived in multiple foreign countries. I was amazed at how physically close the South Koreans were. The Italians loved their food and wine. The Afghans and Iraqis were so hospitable. The Germans were so organized. I was an outsider. There were many from other places living in each of those countries as well.
Our globe has become a very multi-ethnic and multi-cultural world.
I found living in other places to be enriching. People have similarities and differences. They also have differing beliefs. Every place I have ever lived, to include the many places in the United States I have lived, I have always been a follower of Jesus. As a follower of Jesus there were behaviors that I choose to do, as well as behaviors I choose to not do. Being a follower of Jesus has made me different everywhere I have lived.
The Israelites were supposed to be different. They were supposed to influence their world as God followers. Unfortunately, the very next verse after the one I shared, we learn that the Israelites during this period of their history compromised how they followed God and even served the gods of the people that they lived among. Not good.
It is so easy to compromise and let those we live among alter our beliefs and values. To live in our world now, there is a “value” to simply “live and let live.” As a Jesus follower, I am encouraged to be salt and light everywhere I live. In other words, I am called to be different. I believe that the only way I can make a difference in my world is to be different.
When people observe me for any length of time, I want them to observe that I am different. Are you different?
Prayer: Lord, help me to look at Your amazing world with so many people as an opportunity to influence them to follow You. Help me to make a difference as I am living among others.