A while back we discussed what it means to be peculiar in a Christian way. Not the, “I walk my cat on a leash” type of peculiar but the “I am unashamed of the Gospel, Romans 1:16 type of peculiar.” In 1 Peter 2:9, Christians are described as peculiar, meaning that we should look different from those around us. I have a rather silly example of what this looks like. In college, I was in a Gospel Choir. Everyone in the choir was extremely talented. They could sing and they could dance. Everyone but me. When the group swayed left, I swayed right and if we were supposed to clap on beat with the song, I was always out of sync with everyone else. To anyone who was on the outside looking in, I probably looked odd or a bit out of place. This is how we as Christians should appear to the world around us. My choir example was pretty lousy for several reasons, but the idea of someone being out of sync definitely fits what I’m trying to convey.
I work with a lady we’ll call her Mrs. B. Mrs. B is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Now, regular kindness is not peculiar at all but unconditional kindness is capital-letter P peculiar. This lady loves everyone. There was one incident where a kid had a psychotic episode and took a swing at me and I had to hold him on the ground until our resource officer arrived. Mrs. B stayed by the student’s side and actually cried with him. The student was in the midst of a psychotic break and had become so violent that he didn’t seem to care who he hit. But even while he was in this state of complete and utter rage, she laid on the concrete next to him and with tears in her eyes looked him in his face and told him it was going to be okay. Onlookers thought she was weird. “Are you crazy?” He could have hurt you.” But the love of Christ was so strong in her that neither fear nor the opinions of others could have stopped her from caring for the young man. No one could deny that her behavior was peculiar. It was completely out of step with our modern mentality of always looking out for our own self interest. Most would have looked the other way or took out a cellphone to get an Instagram worthy video. But Mrs. B did what any peculiar Christian lady would do.
Christ calls us to be peculiar, he tells us to bless those who curse us, he tells us to forgive anyone who repents and asks for our forgiveness. None of this seems natural. Even toddlers have the natural instinct to hit back if someone hits them, turning the other check takes practice, prayer, and a whole lot of Holy Ghost. No one becomes truly peculiar on their own. We have seek Christ and he will change our hearts so that we can live a life worthy of the label PECULIAR.