Take a moment to ponder the question as to who the most radical and counter-cultural individual of all time was? What is your conclusion? It has been over 2000 years since He walked this earth, but Christ is still the most radical, counter-cultural, and culture changing individual to walk this earth. Jesus’ life was feared and hated by many. He was seen as a threat and one who did not properly adhere to the cultural norm. Now, don’t get me wrong, Jesus taught adherence to government laws and regulations when they did not compromise an individual morally, but He turned religious teaching and custom on its head.
A second question to ponder: who does scripture and the Catholic Church call us to seek to emulate in all areas of our life? The most radical, counter-cultural, and culture-changing individual who walked this earth. We are called to follow Jesus’ teaching, to seek to live a life that adheres to His teaching and to the teachings of the Catholic Church. We are called to seek a life of deep holiness and of deep communion with God.
Finally, a third question to ponder: Can we change our lives and our culture by trying to fit into society’s mold? Jesus didn’t try to fit into any socially acceptable molds or norms. If we are called to follow Jesus and to emulate Jesus, then we are called to stand out, to be radical, to be counter-cultural, and to transform our culture so that it knows and follows God.
Take a moment today to reflect on whether you are trying to fit in, or if you are trying to stand out. To follow Christ, we must stand out, we must be bold, and we must get noticed. Who has ever changed the world or transformed their life by sitting quietly in their home or in their comfortable social circles? I would challenge you to find one individual who has done such a thing. Change happens by being bold, setting out into the deep, and living a life that makes people take notice.
How are you trying to fit in rather than stand out? Are you compromising your morals to wear the latest all too revealing trends in fashion, or by listening to profanity filled music, or by watching television shows that fill our hearts with lust, all in an attempt to “fit in” or to be able to contribute to conversations with friends? Is it because you feel uncomfortable standing out in the crowd? Pray to God for courage and for strength, and let the Holy Spirit move your words and your actions? Is it because you don’t want your kids to miss out on something or to be seen as socially awkward? Our kids will always be missing out on something or socially awkward to someone. Wouldn’t you rather they were awkward and paving their way to heaven, than fit in on the road to hell?
Stand up, stand proud, and be bold. Every small change where we tell society that we don’t need them to define us and to define what is socially acceptable, because God has already done that for us, is one small change that brings us and our families closer to God and closer to heaven. What can you do today, no, what are you willing to do today, to stand up and stand out for your faith, rather than trying to fit into a mold that society has made for you?