I pray you will see through my feeble attempt at humor to the serious side of the Christian life, that of living holy and separate for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES By Sally Bair
Squirrels and chipmunks are constantly collecting nuts. Walnuts, hazel nuts, hickory nuts—you name it, they pursue it. And why not? Nuts are a high-energy source of protein. They contain dietary fiber, micronutrients, and little saturated fat. They’re beneficial to humans, too, and taste good. Nutritionists recommend that we eat an ounce of raw nuts several times a week.
If nuts are so good for us, why do we label some people as being “nuts?” Those we call nuts are usually those who try something different, something new, something against the status quo.
We all try hard to avoid the stigma of being considered nuts. While avoiding the stigma, however, we remain in the status quo, afraid to do something different, something new.
Many Christians try to avoid such a label. We don’t want to be labeled “so heavenly minded we’re of no earthly good.” Or “holier than thou.” Or—heaven forbid—“a Jesus freak.”
In reality, we followers of Christ should be holier (but not consider ourselves better) than those in the world because, in fact, Christ called us to be holy, separated from the world. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
If we truly love Christ above all else, we should not be ashamed of being called Jesus freaks, or nuts. Being heavenly minded means we’re living according to God’s will. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)
Christ came from heaven to earth to bring heaven to the people. Because He went against the status quo of the church of the day, bringing something new to the people, He gained a negative reputation from the religious leaders. He was called a blasphemer and a deceiver, and demon-possessed. In other words, He was thought of as a nut.
Christ asks that we, too, should be willing to lose all popularity, all stature and honor, for the sake of his Kingdom. He goes so far as to say we must suffer—gladly—for his sake. As he did for his Father’s sake and for ours.
We don’t have to be offended if people call us nuts—for Jesus’ sake. Like squirrels and chipmunks, we could be out collecting nuts, of the spiritual kind, for the Kingdom.
Lord, make us willing to endure ridicule and unpopularity for the sake of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.