Have you ever lived in a foreign country? Have you traveled to a foreign country? Have you felt as though you stood out? Have you experienced people pointing at you, or heard them whispering about you? Have you considered that you live in a foreign land now?
Many of us have traveled to other countries. We may have experienced the citizens of that country easily identifying us as foreigners. We may have thought they were trying to take advantage of us. Or we may have felt as though they were laughing at us.
As a Marine, I lived overseas a couple of different times. I have lived in Okinawa, Japan and have been deployed to South Korea. On average, I was several inches taller than the citizens of both places. Not only that, but I was easily identified as an American by several other physical features, not to mention my language.
I have also traveled to Romania on multiple mission trips. Though my physical attributes were similar to theirs, they could still quickly identify me as an American. My clothing, the way I walked, the way I looked around, and language once again gave me away.
When we take on the image of Christ and do our very best to follow Him, we stand out as being different. It is as though we are a foreigner, even if we are in our hometown. People notice how we are different than everyone else. They notice how we speak different than others. They notice our attitude is different.
Notice that Peter calls those who do not follow Christ pagans. Have you ever thought of the people you interact with daily as pagans? Perhaps we should. Perhaps by viewing them in that manner we would feel as though we are on a continual mission trip. Perhaps we would be more committed to showing them Christ through our attitudes, actions, and speech. Perhaps we would be more effective in bringing them to Christ.
I pray we all view ourselves as living in a foreign land. I pray we realize we are not in our permanent home. I pray each one of us will take on the attitude, actions, and speech of Christ. See yourself as a foreigner. Know you are not home. Show Christ to others. Be a good example.
1 Peter 2:11-12 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.