While visiting a friend’s blog recently, I was reminded of a verse from Scripture that really impacted me soon after conversion:
“For what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these ideas mean.” Acts 17:20
Since I did not grow up in an evangelical Christian home, there were a lot of things in those early years as a Christian that really sounded strange to me. Because I was attending college at a “party school” I had plenty of opportunities to see just how strange I had become as I lived them out. It didn’t take long before I was labeled a “Jesus freak” and other less attractive terms, but nothing about those labels seemed strange any more. They seemed right. It was always so cool when someone would be intrigued by the things I had to say and wanted to know more. Those who were sensitive to spiritual truth were attracted by my weirdness rather than my sameness.
As we discuss relevance more and more frequently and as we strive to be relevant in this quickly changing culture, I pray we won’t become too much the same, too familiar, too normal. There’s a fine line between contextualizing and compromising and in our search for relevance, we may find that we become irrelevant due to our “sameness” if we’re not careful.
I’d be curious to hear from some of you guys: How do you walk the line between being strange yet relevant?