Misfit: Different and Pivotal

One of the hardest things I find in life is that when we feel like an outsider, we feel like that makes us unimportant. For a majority of my life I have thought like this, that because I wasn’t like the average dude, I was somehow less important. I think for many of us this becomes the way we view our lives. We see the lives others are living and ask ourselves why can’t we have that kind of story, why everything for everyone else seems to be so easy. We look at our lives and the choices we’ve made and wonder if we can ever make a difference, if our stories will ever leave a mark on the world around us. So many of us have made mistakes, don’t fit into the norms of the people around us, and we can feel like we are unimportant to creating an impact. I’m here to say that this is so not true, the enemy wants to twist your mind and make you believe that you aren’t important. You are important. Your life has value. The thing we must always remember is that God made you in his image, meaning that he is calling you to something greater. While you may be feeling like a misfit, this means that you are different and that you are pivotal to the greater picture.

I was thinking a lot about this while reading the gospels. I bounce around when I read, so as I talked about John the Baptist and the disciples, I now want to look at the lineage of Christ. The first chapter in Mark has a list of the lineage, it’s not crazy interesting if we’re honest, one thing jumped out to me. This is a point that I discovered a while back but re-reading it with the misfit lens made me look at it differently. It shows the descendants from Abraham and keeps showing how this person married this person and so on. Mark 1:5 leaped off the page, “Salmon was the father of Boaz. Rahab was Boaz’s mother.” I mean Salmon is a cool name right!? That’s not what jumped out, what did was the little blurb about Rahab being the mother of Boaz. Rahab was the prostitute who lived in Jericho that saved the spies, and because of her action, God saved her when the walls of the city came down. Rahab was a misfit. Prostitutes typically don’t choose their profession willingly. Often it is the last resort to survive or being coerced wrongfully into it. The bible tells us that she had a family in Jericho but not much else, so we can infer that this was probably a profession to help her provide for her family. So here is a woman who is doing all she can to survive and life wasn’t giving her any favors. She was a woman who felt used, because she was physically being used. God uses the used. When the spies came into the city she chose to keep them hidden rather than sell them out, in which case she most likely would have been rewarded for doing so, and that is a hard decision to make. She listened to the call that God was speaking to her. Not only that, she turned from her ways and followed the Israelites on their path after the walls came down. She married Salmon, who has a cool name, and gave birth to Boaz continuing the line that eventually gave birth to Jesus. If you’ve ever been to a high school or young adult ministry during a dating series you’ve probably heard some pastor tell woman to wait for their Boaz. Rahab was a misfit, she made mistakes, but she was pivotal. Her past was used by God to continue the line of Jesus and she was the mother who raised the son that all women should wait for in their lives.

God has chosen you.

Now I know that was a long part about one small sentence, but it is such a microcosm of the picture we see over and over in the bible. I know some of you may feel hurt from the church or are skeptical about Christ, but let me make sure you know that I understand. I’ve been hurt by the church and I’ve questioned God, but the thing that always draws me in is the fact that God has chosen me. God over and over in the bible uses the people that others cast aside. I’m sure the religious leaders of Jesus’ day would have flipped if Jesus dropped the bomb that a prostitute was in his heritage. We see how intentional Jesus was with the people that were misfits. Heck, over and over we see how he goes out of his way to share meals and spend quality time with these social outcasts. I think that’s because Jesus wanted us today to know that he chooses us no matter how many mistakes we may have made. You are valued. You have something to give and the world is waiting for you to step into what God is calling you towards. I want to be able to get to the point where people don’t have to be afraid to step into church because of their past. To feel comfortable not knowing all the bible stories in a small group. To no longer feel shame for their mistakes or the way the world used them. I think it’s time to enter into that. It’s time for misfits to come together and enter into God’s calling for our lives.

God has chosen the people around you.

The thing we have to remember is that everyone is unique. No one is better than someone else, we’re just different. We can’t fall into the trap of seeing ourselves as better than someone else. Each person plays a vital role in God’s kingdom. No matter how young or old, or even how many years of experience you have, all of us matter. This means we have to treat others with the same love that we all desperately need. The saddest thing to me is seeing people that believe they’ve “made it,” and talk down to those who are running towards the same goal. Never speak down to someone, always help lift them up to grow higher than you ever made it. It makes me think of something that Donald Glover said. Donald Glover is an actor, writer, and rapper who talks about never fitting in for most of his life. He talks about how people used to say he couldn’t make it, but he fought through it. I look up to that. So many times, people will try to tell you that the thing you are passionate about isn’t important and that you’ll never really fulfill your dreams. Even last night in passing conversation someone asked me what I wanted to do now and I told them all I want is to pursue family ministry and they said that it’s really hard to do it but there’s probably some small-town church that might be able for me to find. I feel like that’s limiting God, I think that we need to tell people when they come to us that they can do it. Don’t tell someone they’re going to fail, do all you can to help the people around you achieve more than you. God has a place for you and has a place for the people around you. Be a piece in someone else’s story that believed in them rather than a hater.

Misfit

Maybe this post seems long winded today, but as it has been with the recent weeks, my heartbeat has been to speak to my fellow misfits. I want you to know that God wants to use you. All of you. No matter your past, no matter how far you may feel you’ve fallen, and no matter how much you don’t fit in. God made you in his image, and that means that you have a purpose. You were created to be exactly who you are. You are worthy of all God wants to give you. Just like Rahab, you can play a key role and make an impact to the kingdom. Step into what God is calling you towards.

You are a misfit, and God loves that you are different, because he wants to use you.

-Joshua Thomas

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