Because Fitting In Will Cost You

I’m not a fan of fancy places.

I’ve often said that when I am required to dress up,

attempting to wear a heel that exceeds an inch,

I look and walk like Mrs. Doubtfire.

If you don’t know who that is,

please feel free to Google her name.

The reality is, I’ve just never been comfortable in situations where the way I look on the outside

determines how I’m treated BY the outside.

But if the occasion arises, and sometimes it does,

I will do my best to play the part.

Hoping no one knows I bought my dress on clearance or borrowed my jewelry from a friend,

(as if that matters)

I’ll show up.

And smile.

But just below the surface,

I know the truth.

I don’t fit in.

There’s something unnerving about this feeling.

As if the next word or action will call me out,

I stay low and hope for the best.

Then slip away as quickly as possible.

Being out of my comfort zone socially is something I try to avoid.

Leviticus lists quality after quality that push the Israelites away from the altar,

making the comfort zone very small,

seeming to squeezing out the people who fall short.

But there was a difference between God’s expectations and man’s.

God wasn’t looking for a jacket and tie.

Or an evening gown.

He was looking for a heart,

adorned only with affection for Him.

Later in the Bible,

we read of Samuel being sent to find a king for the people.

In human fashion,

Samuel begins his search with the tallest and the strongest.

The ones who stand up and captivate an audience with their physical prowess.

I Sam. 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel,

“Do not consider his appearance or his height,

for I have rejected him.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at.

People look at the outward appearance, 

but the Lord looks at the heart.”

If the Bible is the Bread of Life,

then Leviticus is the book where we begin to cut our teeth.

And cutting teeth is rarely fun.

Maybe the New Testament is like Orajel this morning,

taking away the pain of all the ways Leviticus hurts.

God’s Holiness can only be understood by first grasping how unholy we are.

And it doesn’t take long to see that the list of things that lead to unholiness is long,

detailed, and serious.

Even in this book, though,

Hope rises.

In the midst of all the do’s and don’t’s,

God keeps saying something over and over,

“Be holy as I am holy.”

He never says,

“Stop trying. Take off the heels. Face the truth. You’ll never fit in.”

He says,

“Be holy.”

That’s right.

Be something you’re really not.

Why?

“Because I am.”

How?

By fitting out in a world filled with anything but holiness.

Separate yourself.

Stop laughing at things that aren’t funny.

Feel uncomfortable when conversations turn the wrong direction.

Stop yourself from speaking if the words you say will be regretted later.

Think twice before acting because every action points the world one way or the other.

And if today were your last day to walk on this earth,

what direction would you want your last actions to point?

My son-in-law wrote a poem when he was a senior in high school and made it into a spoken word video.

He called it,

“Fitting Out.”

It entered my mind this morning as I read the next few chapters in Leviticus.

As I watched his recording again this morning after nearly five years,

I was struck again by these words,

“To have been accepted would have been a prize,

but that’s when I came to realize,

fitting in would be nice,

but later on I’d pay the price.”

The Israelites were learning very quickly that the call was great.

But the price for ignoring the call was high.

Today, what price are you willing to pay to fit in?

I want to walk into today as a spiritual Mrs. Doubtfire,

uncomfortable in this world,

because it’s truly not my Home.

I want to fit out.

Not in.

Because the cost of fitting in is just too high.

And there’s no clearance rack to make it any cheaper.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.
Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. 
Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.
Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
I Peter 2:11-12 MSG
Maybe God was never pushing the Israelites away from the altar.
Maybe He was simply teaching them what it would cost to draw close……
Because “fitting in” with God also comes with a price.
 But there’s good news this morning!
Jesus paid it for us!!
If you want to push pause on my blog music, you can listen to Luke’s words as a high school senior in 2014.)

(Today’s reading was from Leviticus 19-22.)

 

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