Being set apart………..what does that actually mean?

December 13, 2008

My friend Brandy recently asked me what I though being “set apart” as a Christian meant.  Brandy and I both believe that this phrase “set apart” has been turned into being “better than” and this kind of thinking can be very dangerous. 

But can being “set apart” be a good thing?  As I continue to wrestle with this I have tried to think about what being “set apart” is not.

Being set apart is not excluding people who are different from you, especially non-Christians.  I have mentioned here before that I believe that we must be friends with people who are not like us to make disciples.  Some of my best friends are friends who would not say they are Christians…………and I refuse to make them projects.  What I will do is let them teach me and teach me they have.  I would even go as far as to say that some of my non-Christian friends act a lot more Christian than some of my Christian friends.

I have a friend who I went to middle school, high school and college with who has taught me so much about life and I would like to share a little about him………

My friend would not say he is a Christian, although he grew up Catholic.  He has even gone as far as to tell me that he is only still apart of the Catholic Church because he just wants to get married there.  At least he is honest…..

But that is not what makes this friend so great.  As I said, he has taught me a whole lot and I hope I have taught him half of what he has taught me.  Over the years we have played sports together, eaten together and even lived together.  We have had many discussions and argued many times, but we have also laughed and cried together.  It is a friendship I will never forget.  The last couple of years my friend has had a really rough time.  I won’t say exactly what is going on, but he has gone through an incredibly tough time.  With that said I have been really proud of him the last few years.  He has stared adversity in the face and gotten through the roadblocks that were put in front of him. Basically, I’m really proud of him………

We were roomates the morning my Mom died.  As I got off the phone with my Dad I walked back into our dorm room and started weeping.  I could not stop crying.  My friend instantly jumped out of bed, gave me a big hug and said, “come on, I’ll drive you home.”  He dropped everything that morning, just for me………..I will never forget that morning.

We have both graduated and I recieved a text message from him recently that said, “Hey man, you would be proud of me.  I was at a funeral of a family friends and I had a long talk to the Father there.  We talked about Jesus.” 

I texted him back instantly and said, “I’m already proud of you.”

If being set apart is excluding those who don’t believe the same things we do or who are not Christians or who are not in our same Socio-economic class or who are totally difference for us I don’t want to be a part of that……….

But, if being set apart is getting up at 5 am to comfort a roomate after their mom died like my friend did for me……….I think we will be just fine…..

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2 Responses to “Being set apart………..what does that actually mean?”

  1. David said

    Good stuff, and an appropriate example of why we cannot think of ourselves as better than others and how that isn’t what is meant by the call to being holy/set apart. So…what does it mean to be set apart?

  2. Travis said

    Good story. Holiness means being set apart for hard-ass work.

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