“Don’t condemn someone just because they sin differently than you.” – Unknown
In 1997, things looked bleak for Apple. As unlikely as it sounds now, the once-promising company was thinking about shuttering its doors. The decision was made to bring back Steve Jobs, but the turning point for Apple is widely considered to be a famous advertising campaign that summed up Jobs’ vision for Apple: Think Different. The ad campaign turned things in the right direction. Fast forward to today and Apple is the world’s most valuable company. As Christians, we can learn from the idea of thinking differently.
Every person sees their life through a particular lens. We all have a worldview that influences how we interpret our circumstances and surroundings. Our worldview impacts the way we see and value other people. Jesus gives us the privilege to see things in a new light. Jesus enables us to see things differently.
We all want our unchurched friends to come to church. But what if we need to consider other ways to reach them before we can get them to even consider coming to the church? What if we need to think differently from the way we always approached the subject. Maybe we need to go to them rather than expecting them to come to us. That’s exactly what Jesus did consistently. Our Savior didn’t hang out in the temple and wait for them to come to Him. Neither should we.
If we’re going to thrive as a church, we can’t be content doing what we’ve always done. To think differently means we don’t think inside the box, but we use God’s Word as a blueprint for thinking differently or outside of the box with Jesus.
Jesus lived in a world steeped in tradition where the phrase “But we’ve always done it this way” was the way of life. But we’ve always done it this way was about to be radically changed starting in Bethlehem. Jesus starts His time on earth in a most nontraditional way; a virgin birth, born in a manger. The rest of His life was no more traditional than His birth. This was not a one size fits all, status-quo ministry.
While there was a consistent, common goal in Jesus’ messages (getting people to believe in Him), how and what He communicated varied significantly from person to person and from group to group. Jesus communicated in just about every way possible. Throughout His ministry, He proclaimed, explained, had compassion, expressed anger, rejoiced, showed kindness, asked questions, and gave commandments. He did not serve people the same way each time but rather tailored what He did to the moment and the person.
So how does that apply to us? If Jesus, in a world where the pace of change was not near as rapid as today, thought outside of the box and took the risk, why shouldn’t we? We must remember, however, that Jesus aligned His earthly activity with the will of the Father (John. 5:17-23). He knew why He came and lived accordingly.
One size doesn’t fit all. Let’s be attentive to our audience, and truly endeavor to give people what they need to see the grace and love of God.
- What in your mind does it mean to think differently?
- Does thinking differently mean you have to change your mind?