Monday, April 13, 2009

Being Set Apart


We have no choice about being in the world. We have to shop and eat, and even if you work or school at home, you still have to make contact with the world! For Christians, we have to find the balance of being in the world without being of it. We do know this:

We are commanded to be holy.
Holiness means being set apart.
Being set apart means that we do live in this world, we need to be respectful of others, but we must be different.

When I was a college student and in the work world, I used to ask myself if my colleagues would know that I was different without me telling them. There were times when I had to speak up and speak out (not in my nature I assure you!) There were other times when nothing needed to be said. I just needed to remember this verse:

"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36

How can we go wrong if we hold this verse before us - ALWAYS!

But not of it is such an important phrase. This is the qualifier to the inevitability of living in our world today and being exposed to all the influences of it. How can we be IN the world, rub noses with people that live in it, but still be holy and reflect holiness? This is something we need to continuously strive for in every aspect of our lives.

Laura asked about being unequally yoked with unbelievers, both male and female. I think we'd all agree that this isn't always easy.

Personality -wise, I am very outgoing, and I like to have friends. Sometimes at college, I had to be okay with being alone. I found myself a nice group of friends that I felt comfortable with, and that respected my beliefs. They knew that there were certain things I wouldn't do. They were ok with that. I was a commuter student, so I wasn't exposed to some of the temptations that dorm life brought.

There were a couple of times that I was asked "out" by a young man, and other times that I could tell that a guy was pointedly flirting with me. Girls, I hate to hurt others feelings! My parents had to help me learn how to hold myself separate from these interactions. There were a couple of times that I really needed their help with how to deal with a situation.

Once you start opening yourself to intimate interactions (by intimate I mean close and binding) with people that are too different from you, it becomes easier and easier to continue to do so. Little by little you may be opening yourself more without even realizing it.

I had a wonderful college experience. Late afternoon study sessions, squinting over immunology and organic chemistry flash cards until we could barely see. Fun lunches at the Community Commons. Oceanography and Conservation Biology field trips. Sweating over our Senior Seminar speeches. So you see, I wasn't slinking around or hiding in a corner!

I know that some do not agree with going to college outside of the home, and I'm not here to discuss that, although I truly do understand!! I both went to college and worked outside of the home before I met my husband and got married. There were many times that I was so thankful that I had a hedge of protection.

We don't all come from the same backgrounds. I can't pretend to know what your family make up is. My parents are strong Christians and we have an excellent and open relationship. If you have this -- please, by all means, take advantage of it.

Listen to the wise counsel of your parents, for they are sent by God. This is a hedge of protection.

Fellowship with the believers that you attend church with, and other likeminded believers, for this is a hedge of protection.

Be accountable to your parents, pastors, trusted friends, or any other godly influences in your life.

Stay constantly familiar with God's Word. Let His Word be always in your heart, mind, on your tongue. This is a defense against falling into temptation and a hedge of protection.

This post is getting really long! I will close now, with the possibility that we may talk more about this issue. We'll see what Sara has to add as well. If you have any more questions you would like the Girl Inside to cover on this topic, or if you have written a post on this subject, please email me!

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