His socks didn’t match.
This is not an unusual occurrence in our household. I despise the task of matching up pairs of socks, and with 14 feet in the house, matching up socks can be quite an ordeal. To help with this issue, I have placed a large tub on the dryer and every sock that makes it out of the dryer gets dropped in that tub. Then, when my boys are in need of a pair of socks, they simply go to this tub and find their own pair.
Only the pairs don’t always match. And sometimes the mismatched socks really stand out.
Do you ever feel like a pair of mismatched socks, standing out in a society where blending in is expected?
I wonder if this is the way Jeremiah felt. He was a young man, serving God in an ungodly nation in the midst of its final days. He grew up in a culture that was anti-God where everything was acceptable . . . everything, that is, except for an exclusive faith. To make matters worse, God called him to a specific task. God called him to speak to that culture – to bring God’s words and warnings to the Judean society.
At first he questioned the call. “Lord, I do not know how to speak,” he said, “I’m only a child.” But God told him to go – to speak – to say the words God gave him and to leave the rest up to God. And Jeremiah did. In the end, he was ridiculed, ignored and persecuted. He was even thrown in a pit at one point, but he never stopped speaking for God. He never stopped doing his job.
There is a fashion trend today that capitalizes on the use of mismatched socks. In this trend, two socks are worn together that are noticeably different, yet still somewhat the same. They are the same size and style, and the colors work well together. They might be “mismatched socks”, but in all honesty, they really do match.
In the same way, there is a tendency today to want to follow Christ, but not to the point of clashing with society. We are Christians and Christians are called to live a life of love, yet we take that one step further and say that living a life of love means we must also love the culture. We feel that showing the love of Christ to those around us means that we should never take a stand on controversial issues. We might say we’re “mismatched”, but in reality, we don’t stand out at all.
My son’s mismatched socks on that Sunday morning were definitely not of the “purposely” mismatched variety. It’s bad enough that he was wearing socks in the first place…I mean, everyone knows that people in Bible times wore sandals, right? No socks!! But to make matters worse, I was the one directing this play. How could the director of the play let her own son wear socks, and not just any socks, but a pair so obviously mismatched? No one would ever dream of making a fashion statement out of his socks!
Guess what? We are not called to make a fashion statement with our lives — we are called to stand out! Yes, we must love the ones around us, but authentic love never compromises the truth. Just like Jeremiah, our Director wants us to speak the truth and trust Him with the results. We need to do our job, even if we look different from the world around us.
And my son did his job. When it was his turn to say his lines, he walked up to that microphone and let everyone hear what he had to say. He didn’t apologize about his socks . . . I doubt he even thought about them. Wearing mismatched socks is so much a part of his life that he doesn’t think there is anything strange about it at all. Wearing mismatched socks is normal to him.
Is wearing mismatched socks normal to you?
Christians were never meant to blend into the culture. We were meant to stand out . . .
like a pair of mismatched socks.
“Then I said, ‘alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the Lord.”
– Jeremiah 1:6-8 (NASB)
This post is similar to one found in my book Banana Bread & Mismatched Socks: 100 Devotional Thoughts From My Every Day Life. Buy your copy today!
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