The meaning of the above phrase is to be noticeable and different among a group of people that are similar.
The general tendency of the world is to blend along with the happenings and circumstances around, but it takes a lot of courage, strength, and confidence to stand out, to act and think differently.
We have heard of many people in history who stood out for various qualities and capacities. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi who stood out for non-violence, Mother Teresa who is still remembered for compassion and selfless service to the poor and the destitute, and Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp are only few of them.
We know the familiar story of a young boy who was the only one who carried an umbrella for a prayer meeting where people were praying for rain. That little boy stood out among all the others for his unwavering and deep faith.
As children of God, what does the bible teach us? Is there anything unique in us? How are we to stand out as Christians?
To stand out as Christian means representing Christ in all we do. It requires us to infuse our daily life with our faith. Put Christ first and set an example around us.
I would like to point out a few verses from the Bible that shed light on this.
Romans 12:2: – Do not confirm to the world.
Here apostle Paul reminds us to abandon the chase for pleasure, possessions, and status to stop living like anyone else, but to change our way of thinking, and to renew our minds to understand God’s will and purpose for our life despite our human tendency to chase after the above.
2 Corinthians 6:14: – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
Those in Christ are strictly commanded not to enter into any binding or partnership with unbelievers. We as believers, therefore, must not defile ourselves with those defiled with sin.
1 John 2:15: – Do not love the world or anything in it.
The main reason John the Apostle exhorts us not to love the world is because we cannot love and serve God and the world at the same time. The love of God pushes out the love for the world. In this regard, Paul, a great man of God says that he considers everything else loss for the love of God (Philippians 3:8). That is what is expected of us as children of God.
There are many more verses that can be quoted to highlight the importance of standing out as Christians. In brief, the love of God should herewith compel us to forsake all the pleasures of the world and to stand out for Him.
Additionally, here are a few people in the Bible who stood out among the crowd.
NOAH – Genesis 6.
Noah was found righteous in his generation. Genesis 6 begins by saying how wicked the world was and how detestable their practices were. Consequently, God was grieved because of their wickedness. But Noah, among that wicked generation stood out for his righteousness and thus he and his family were saved from the flood.
SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO – Daniel 3.
Three young men who decided not to bow before the golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar had set up because they decided to obey the command of the Lord “You shall have no God beside me”. As a result, they did not hesitate to sacrifice their life if needed. Yet we see how the hand of the Lord their God saved them. The Lord stands up for those who stand up for Him.
DAVID – 1 Samuel 17.
When all the Israelite army trained for battle, stood fearful and in terror before Goliath and the Philistines, David, a young lad stood among the crowd, defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. So, David stood out for his courage and trust in the Lord. He boldly said, “I come against you in the name of the Lord”.
JOSIAH – 2 Kings 22.
A young boy who was handed over the responsibility of a kingdom stood out for doing what was right in the sight of God. His predecessors did evil in God’s sight. The situations were not favorable. Yet Josiah stood out by obeying the words of the Lord. 2 Kings 23:25 – “Neither before or after Josiah was there a king who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength.
There are many more people in the scripture who stood out for various qualities and capacities. They are given to us to prove that we can still stand out faithful and blameless in this perilous world.
How can we stand out as a Christian?
Pray for help as we sojourn.
We always must be reminded and assured the God is with us, willing to love and help us. We must allow the Lord to accomplish His purpose through our life. We must be submissive to His leading.
Set a good example.
In our words and actions, we need to set an example for others. We have Christ, the author and finisher of our faith to look unto. In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul exhorts Timothy to set an example in speech, life, love, faith and in purity.
Represent God through our actions.
One of the greatest commandments of the Lord is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). James 2:26 says “Faith without deeds is dead”. Moreover, Jesus also reminded us to do to others as we expect them to do unto us. We are called towards good works. Therefore, Let the love of Christ be represented through our lives.
Never forget the personal time with God.
“When I kneel in prayer and with thee my God, I commune as friend with friend”. Prayer brings us close to God and the word of God sheds light on our path and guides us into all righteousness.
I would like to challenge all my readers as children of God, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar nation, to reflect His light in this world of darkness. We are to be holy just as the Lord our God is holy and ought to live worthy of the calling wherewith, we are called unto.
May the Lord our God enable us to stand out as His witnesses and reflect His light in this dark and wicked world.