This is easier said than done.
But these words are also a great description of how Jesus lived his life on earth hundreds of years later.
It didn’t matter to Jesus what the current religious cultural norms were.
He knew the truth.
He WAS the Truth.
He lived out the truth despite what ‘the crowd’ was doing.
And the crowd despised him for it.
Are we willing to live our lives according to God’s truth without concern about what everyone else is doing?
It’s not easy.
Many years ago I was in a group of people who were all listening to one man explain how he ‘got over’ on his insurance company by falsifying information on a report and getting reimbursed for something that wasn’t covered by the insurance.
Really? No wonder our insurance rates are so high!
I could tell that some of the people in the crowd were very interested in the details…….maybe they could get a ‘free check’ as well? The peer pressure was significant so I didn’t speak up.
Later, I wasn’t happy about the fact that I didn’t say anything. Some people understand silence as agreement. And I didn’t agree.
Years later, a man I worked with shared how he ‘got over’ on the airlines by combining different tickets and ‘bending’ the rules. He suggested this to our department’s leadership team as a tactic for saving money.
I realized that, if the crowd accepted this, I would be expected to do it.
So I explained that I would not be able to lie to the airlines in order to save money.
There was a moment of silence…….
and then we decided not to use this tactic.
It was uncomfortable.
And I had to deal with an ‘attitude’ from this on man whenever integrity topics came up and we disagreed.
But I was very glad I spoke up. I’m very glad I didn’t go along with the crowd.
It’s not comfortable and there are consequences.
But Jesus role-modelled this for us. He showed us how to do it.
Now its up to us to stand up to the crowd. To speak the truth in love. To offer a different perspective. And then to handle the resulting awkward situation with confidence and maturity.
Because the crowd doesn’t like someone who puts truth over popular opinion.
But God does.
And his opinion is the only one that matters.
Thank you for showing us your Truth, Abba Father.