Jesus said that the road to eternal life is narrow and few find it. The road to destruction is a superhighway and it is the majority who travel on it. What’s the difference between the person who chooses the narrow road over the one who stays on the expressway? The willingness to hear Jesus’ call and abandon the mainstream.
A secure child is comfortable in their own skin. Their uniqueness has probably been celebrated and they’ve been taught they can dare to be different. Spiritual orphans, however, need to belong somewhere so badly that they’ll live like chameleons; contorting to fit in just to have a sense of family. They will rarely deviate from group opinion for fear of consequences. This was me, in many ways, for 40 years. As a teen, I allowed a few bullies to hold me hostage. As a young adult already in public ministry, I did what a few of the powerful people in my life asked me to do and avoided those whom I perceived were unhappy with me. Type A personalities were eager to lead me their way. To make them happy, I followed their plans for me. In return, they built up my fragile sense of self.
How comfortable are you with your group of friends? If all of them agree on a subject and you don’t, do they know it? If you hold back your beliefs, is it out of fear or because God is leading you to choose HIS time to disclose them? Big difference in the two choices. How comfortable are you with your family? There is a family way of thinking and of doing things. Are you the one who will respectfully disagree with family members when your walk with Jesus is compromised or do you keep quiet and just conform? Leaving town is considered your best option.
Can you imagine how early Jesus had to stand alone in the midst of friends and family? It might have been as early as an elementary age child when He played with his friends. All kids are naughty and He would have been encouraged to participate in their mischief. He said ‘no’ and I’m quite sure He paid for it. Think of the teen years. Consider living righteously among siblings when they are testing their adolescent wings. Jesus’ perfection would have cut across the grain of their choices and their justifications. Perhaps their blindness to His divinity really started in childhood when they were offended by their brother’s goodness.
Each child of God is unique and so are their gifts and callings. Few endeavor to discover the person God created them to be because they are too busy being defined by others and trying to live up to others’ expectations. It takes effort to find security in God alone. As long as we are intimidated by the demands of people, we will live like orphans, not well-loved children of God. Our banner is Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation. Whom Shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid.” If you are a spiritual orphan consumed with people pleasing, this is your verse. Speak it under your breath at every juncture.
You are my Light to find the narrow road. You are my Salvation from conforming. Whom shall I fear, Lord? I fill in all the names and remember they are created beings. Not like you. Amen