In Christ we are new and our spirit is made new and filled with holy power. Now, what does a follower of Christ look like on the outside? Growing up, people drank sweet/ unsweet tea or water at church events. I looked for the cooler with soda cans. Kids would flock to kids’ church. I would stay in the adult service. I simply liked the message better. I don’t pray as if God is deaf; I pray silently. While others vocalize their request. Loudly. All at once. As I grew up and continued to grow in relationship to Christ, I found peace in knowing I don’t have to conform to a single image of what a follower of Christ looks like.
There is no single image because God doesn’t want clones without soul or personality. Because what I look like doesn’t matter. How I walk out those beliefs in daily life is the meat of following Christ. I know we all have heard this, but it’s true: Christ defines who we are. So what if a believer dresses like a hippy adorned with crystals, does that person have to wear a modest dress with their hair the color they were born with? NO!
Yet, some members will avoid them because they must have a twisted view of God. What if they believe in crystal healing, what if they do yoga-isn’t that worship of Hindu gods? Profiling a human being is wrong. I was profiled as a goth many times in my life simply because I wear black, dye my hair, and like black nail polish. This resulted in peers admitting I scared them. While others judged, God saw, and stills sees, the true reasons behinds why I wear black: hiding my weight, I like the color, black makes me feel less anxious in social situations. I’m not a monster, just an overweight female who wants to reach out but feels held back by her own inner critic.
The molds we try to squeeze ourselves into as followers of Christ by can be ridiculous. You have to get married and have kids. You have to love mission work. You have to love Christian music (that secular music is devil worship!). If you don’t tithe you don’t love God. More judgments that cause us to feel shame. I prefer talking to God about what he has for my life instead of following a human standard that was created just so the majority would feel safer.
What those doling out the golden standard don’t see is the struggle to get by on a pay check to pay check life. They don’t see the woman who is twisting herself into a 100 different people just to make a man notice her. The couple in debt because of fertility treatments. The man or woman who is in love with growing their business but conflicted since they don’t feel the urge to get married. Shockingly, they don’t want to ever get married.
God’s word is the only standard we, as believers and followers of Christ, we are to adhere to. Nowhere in my reading of the Word does it say what a Christian look like in terms of appearance. Rock your style, dye your hair, get that tattoo, listen to that music, and talk to God as a friend. He has a lot to say that may shock us about our lives. Let him lead instead of the judgments and labels that chase us down.