How to Overcome the Fear of Being Different

https://1.gravatar.com/avatar/73cfdc895b9fc7dd9cf127bedd116b7d?s=128&d=mm&r=GThis morning, I asked the following question in a Google+ Community. Are you afraid of being seen as different or weird?  I asked this question in a community for Christians. It’s too early for any kind of reaction.

For me, I really don’t think about it. Why? I didn’t have a choice; as I was born with disabilities.  As a child, there is no escaping the obvious facts. I was born, both nearsighted and hard of hearing.  Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s going to be noticed. 

As a Christian, this reality has not changed. I am still going to be perceived as different; it simply became more noticeable. At the age of 50, one does get used to the idea of being different.

Hey, I did not say that “I’ve arrived! NOT! For the average Christian, the fear of being different is not so easily overcome. I know about those fears; as I experienced similar fears, when growing up.

The more things change; the more they remain the same! Did you know that quote is straight from Ecclesiastes 1:9? Would you like to read about some truths that really helped me?

Open your eyes and look around you. No human being is exactly the same; we are all a little different. For some people, it’s a lot more obvious than it is for other people.

Does not Scripture say that we’re made in God’s own image; as per Genesis 1:26? However, we’re not clones of each others. I knew of two pairs of identical twins. Though they looked the same; the brothers are quite different. Here is a touch of irony.

With one pair of twins, I could never see the differences and it was likely annoying. Why can’t this guy see the obvious differences? Is his vision that bad? Though I could not see it; the twins could see the obvious differences.

Did you know that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made in your mother’s womb?  It’s true and you can read it in Psalms 139:13-15.  As such, each person is born with a unique set of personalities, dreams, talents and a purpose.

I did not have a choice, in my manner of birth? Does anyone seriously think I’d choose to be born with serious disabilities? I don’t think so! However, there is a choice to be made. How should I respond to my circumstances? 

I could not control the actions and thoughts of other people. However, I can control my own thoughts and reactions. I did not have to react to the taunts and the hurtful pranks of the school bullies. Years later, I’d learn the value of good wisecracks and humor.

You don’t have to react in anger; as I did.  Humor and wisecracks are not the only tools; I would discover. How about the power of silence and prayer? Did you know that a fool can be considered wise; if he shuts his mouth?  You can read about it in Proverbs 17:27-28.

What’s the other tool? It is easy to give the above set of advices; however, there is one problem. In my own strength, my rate of success will be severely limited. What is the alternative? 

For me, I have found it helpful to talk with Jesus and ask for help, from God, the Father. If God, the Father, so numbered the hairs on your head, then it’s very likely that God cares about your problems. Salvation is not just a “Get Out Hell” card.

Here is another helpful truth. Don’t worry about it. People are going to notice my differences. I can’t help it; however, I can help my own actions and thoughts. What hat shall I put on?

Shall I put on the hat of the angry disabled guy? I have been down that road, in the past. Do I put on the hat of  “poor me”?  I’ve not been down this road; however, I did miss the obvious signs of acceptance. Shall I put on the hat of a man, who is relaxed with himself and knows his identity is in Christ? 

Have I somehow arrived? No. I am still learning and growing in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. How  does this relate to the normal Christian walk and being different?

If you accepted Jesus, as Lord and Savior, then you have become a new creation.  2 Corinthians 5:17-19 goes into some details on this reality.  Did you know there is a ministry of reconciliation? If not, you may want to click on that link and read.

Do you know about the transfer? When a person accepted Jesus, they are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of light. You can read about it in Colossians 1:12-13.

Wait a second! I did not go, anywhere? Did I? I am talking about spiritual kingdom; not physical kingdom. If you’re in Christ, then your spirit is going to be filled with light and it’s going to be noticed.

Though humans can’t normally see into the spiritual realm; they can get a whiff of what a person has inside. A city that is on a hill is not easily hidden or missed.  Did you read the tips that I gave earlier?  It’s the same principle, with some obvious differences.

For the past couple of weeks, Brett has been given a message “Kingdom Living“. My friend, Brett is the lead pastor of my home church, Shore Vineyard Church.  Brett does give some useful insights that may help you.

I just mention an obvious difference and it’s true. There is one difference that I do want to mention. Did you know that Jesus asked the Father, to send a gift to the believers? What is this gift? It’s the gift of the Holy Spirit. John 16:5-15 is a good starting point.

It was the Spirit, who helped in the healing of my heart and Spirit opened up the Word of God and instructed my hearts on those new tools. Yes, I did read other books and listen to certain individuals. Guess who helped with all of that?

Don’t be afraid of being different! You are not alone!

7 thoughts on “How to Overcome the Fear of Being Different

  1. I started wearing glasses when I was 2 years old. From kindergarten through about 3rd grade I was the only one. I was also an emotionally disturbed child from a highly dysfunctional family. I was constantly made fun of throughout my childhood.

    I became a Christian when I was 14 years old. I still had a long way to go on the front of self-esteem. But as I grew into my faith, I began to realize that God had made me different for a reason. I decided to “embrace my weirdness.” I still wasn’t very popular, but I drew a great crowd of fellow weirdos to me and we have had a great time loving Jesus and staying strange for many years now.

    My suggestion? Stay strange! God loves those who dare to be different!

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