The late southern author, Flannery O’Connor once said, “You shall know the truth, and truth shall make you odd.” It’s a twist of something Jesus said in John 8:32 about God’s truth. The truth of the Christian faith will make you different from the rest of world, sometimes shockingly so.
Ephesians 4:22 says, “Put off your old self.” Now that sounds odd to us, but it’s the language of Baptism. In Baptism, we become new creations. We put off our old identity and put on our truest and best identity, the one God gives us.
Every day, all day, the world tells us, “You be you.” “Be true to yourself.” It resonates with us because we’re basically self-centered. The irony is, it’s the culture telling us that. It’s others telling us to be us. If we believe it, we’re really just doing what someone else says.
What makes a Christian shockingly different is not their appearance, the way they act, or their likes and dislikes. A Christian has just as many problems as anyone else.
A Christian, a real one at least, is someone who is less and less motivated by what the world says.
A Christian is increasingly motivated by the truth that the living God stepped into history in the person of Jesus Christ. The only rational choice for the Christian then is to start putting off the things of their old identity and follow the God-man, Jesus.
That may seem odd to some.