“But when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural. The church cannot help but be different, and the world cannot help but notice.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God. For years I have prayed that I would live my life in such a way that other people would notice something different. I do this not because I want to be noticed, but because I want people to see something different and desire the same thing in their own life. I want them to desire to know Christ and live their life for Him. I want to live a life so full of God’s love and power that other people cannot help but notice. In doing this I have worked to live a life of conviction, to be honest, to stand up for what I believe, to work hard, to serve others, to accept anyone God brings into my life and to love others no matter who they are, what they look like, what they believe or what they have done. I certainly haven’t done this perfectly and I’ve made many mistakes over the years, but I still try to live in such a way that others see Christ in my life…and my desire is that they will not only see something different, but will see something they want.
Over the last couple years I have realized that even if people do “notice” that my life is different, it doesn’t mean they will like what they see. It could mean they notice I am different and judge me for it, maybe even hate me because of the way I choose to live my life. This is hard for me to accept because I want people to feel loved, special and important because of the way I choose to live my life. However, I have been reminded that the Bible doesn’t say, “If you work hard, if you be honest, if you stand up for what you believe, if you love others, if you [fill in the blank], the world will love you or the world will understand God’s love”. The Bible says, “Does the world hate you? Remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you like one of its own. But you do not belong to the world. I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19) “My brothers and sisters, don’t be surprised if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13)
I still believe this quote from Chan’s book is true and my desire is still that others would see something different in my life, something they want. However, I now view this quote a little differently. Even though my desire is that people would notice something different and change because of it, I have to accept that instead, people may hate me because of it.