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Uncommonly good

May 27, 2014

When a cat hacks up a hairball, it’s gross and nobody wants to deal with it.  But it’s part of catdom, and so if you have a cat you will clean up hairballs sooner or later.

When a three year-old shoves his finger up his nose to mine for buried treasure, it’s yucky no matter how proud he is of any gold he finds.  But three year-olds do that.  They’re not being naughty.  They’re just being three.

Normal life has distasteful parts.  Life isn’t bad when we experience the distasteful parts; it is actually demonstrating just how normal it really is, because it’s not normal to never experience the distasteful stuff.

It’s important to note that “normal” and “common” are two different things, however.

I’ve recently heard several heartbreaking stories of groups of Christians who have forgotten “normal” and have instead engaged in “common”.  Arguments, betrayals, backbiting, lying, maliciousness and slander, rejection and abandonment…the cycle of pain and bitterness and wounding.

There is nothing normal about this in the kingdom.  These things may be common, but they are not and will never be normal.

Normal in the kingdom looks like love.  It looks like forgiveness and mercy, grace and partnership, support and encouragement.  It looks like using truth to heal, not wound.

Each story I’ve heard has left me baffled because each story has assumed that the God will bless such dishonorable behavior because of some assumption of a greater-good end result by some (but never all) of the parties involved.

It’s important to remember that just because God appears to tolerate something doesn’t mean He blesses it.

It’s also important to remember that just because God appears to tolerate something doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences for partnering with the works of darkness.

That’s a scary position to find yourself in, you know, realizing that you’ve assumed God is on your side, or that He’s ok with your common but abnormal behavior.  The wakeup call is usually painful.

Our normal is patterned after Jesus’ normal: heal the sick, raise the dead, make darkness homeless, make the broken and dirty clean again.  Walk in light.  Walk in love that is bigger than fear or injustice or pain.

We were created for the uncommon.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2014 3:50 am

    Love it. It is so true. so much ‘common’ not enough ‘natural’.

    • May 27, 2014 9:04 am

      Wouldn’t it be amazing if we were all comfortable to be uncommon?

      • May 27, 2014 9:08 am

        It would indeed! I guess it needs to start with me.

  2. Kellie permalink
    May 27, 2014 7:08 am

    So, I don’t know of whom you speak, but I do know of what you speak. Disagreements, by your definition, are normal, and I believe necessary, for growth in knowledge, wisdom, the spiritual fruit. But factions/division are not only unnecessary (as I heard one preacher say this weekend), they are ungodly.

    According to World Christian Encyclopedia, in 1982, an estimated 21,000 denominations existed, growing to an estimated 33,000 by 2001. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an estimated 34,000 denominations in 2000 rose to 43,000 in 2012. An estimate of only 1,600 existed in the year 1900.

    Where does this fit with Christ’s words:

    John 13:34-35
    34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (NASB)


    John 17:22-23
    22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected [b]in unity, so that the world may [c]know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (NASB)

    • May 27, 2014 9:00 am

      Wow…I had not heard those statistics about denominations. That is mind-blowing. And yes…I keep returning to John, to all the exhortations towards unity. Jesus pretty much harped on the subject right before He was crucified. It makes me wonder what kind of power actually lurks in unity in the body of Christ. I don’t think anyone really knows the depths of that, because we’ve only ever had tiny brief tastes of it that have been too easy to break up.

  3. May 27, 2014 7:42 am

    So true! Makes one think about how he/she is living our lives. Great post!

    • May 27, 2014 8:54 am

      The kingdom is so upside down. No wonder we’re told to renew our minds. The old mindset really doesn’t work at all in the kingdom.

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