- Tending to be different or develop in different directions. 2. Using unfamiliar premises and avoiding common limiting assumption 3. Deviation from a particular standard.
There was a movie a few years ago called Divergent. It was a bout a facet of people that didn’t fit in with their society and how it was structured. They didn’t follow the status quo and could not be controlled in the way that most of the population was. They eventually toppled down the structure of their world that was determined to maintain control by destroying those who were different. These were the free thinkers, the revolutionaries, and the game changers. The movie was really cheesy, but the premise behind it was great.
When I decided on a name for this blog, I asked myself, “Who do I want to be? Do I want to blend in and follow the crowd? It would be comfortable, but probably unfulfilling. Or, do I want to make a difference? Go against the grain despite what the majority says? This route will be much more difficult and will constantly stretch me, but will help me grow into someone I am proud of.”
I chose the latter. Why?
Because living a comfortable life with no waves isn’t an option. It isn’t how I was made. Some people are completely satisfied with a “button pusher” mentality. They will go to work and push a button every time it lights up red for 8 hours a day, go home, and do it all again. They are completely satisfied with that and that is great! If you are living a fulfilled life that way then by all means, push those buttons!
But I can’t. I have always been someone who adds too much to my plate because there just isn’t enough time in the day to learn everything I want to learn, to go all the places I want to go, and to grow as deep as I want to spiritually (this is actually number one on my list now). God has taught me to slow down, but it’s really hard! When you have this drive inside you that wants to change the world no matter who agrees with you or not, how do you sit still?!
First of all, I turned off my TV. There is an entire world out there that isn’t wrapped up in television, and it is beautiful! John Maxwell said once, “It isn’t always that we don’t have enough time, but sometimes we aren’t using our time wisely.” I want to use all the time I have being better than I was yesterday.
I stopped drinking. I did this about four years ago. I was really convicted over it and honestly it wasn’t fun anymore anyway. I never had an off switch and 1 drink always turned into 10. I didn’t consider that an issue because I didn’t do it every day, but that’s not true. That was still part of the spirit of addiction I thought I had broken free from.
Sober life is really so much better though. Plus, I felt as though I outgrew the people around me that partied all the time. So many of them were Christians too or claimed to be, but I never saw any peace in their lives. It just wasn’t for me and life is so much more clear when sobriety is involved. Everything is exciting again.
I stopped listening to trash music or anything that didn’t make me feel happy. Which has really limited my music options if I am honest, but we put out what we put in and I am trying to keep trash OUT. I cleaned up my diet. This one was sort of forced on me, but I now see the importance of eating right and conquering “king stomach” as John Hagee put it. Our bodies are a temple. The Holy Spirit lives in it and Jesus died for it. We need to take care of ourselves.
I deleted apps on my phone that were consuming too much of my time. Sometimes I will redownload them thinking I have developed self control only to see my screen time sky rocket. I try to keep my screen time under 4 hours a day total which is really difficult. Especially when you work from home and none of your family is close (I keep up with them all through social media). Plus, I love that I can connect to as many international churches and ministries as I want because social media keeps them all right at my finger tips. It really is a great tool, but I know myself and I tend to have an all or nothing personality. There isn’t a time limit I can set for each app. I just have to delete it all together. **you can be addicted to your phone just like any drug!**
And lastly, I got rid of people in my circle that were not good for me. This one is always the hardest. At least it was for me. We get attached to people whether they are toxic or not, and we don’t want to be lonely. Finding friends is hard as adults and losing our circle doesn’t always feel good AT FIRST. But listen, after a while there is peace. Your mind is relaxed, there isn’t constant tension in your face and neck from all the drama you were involved in, you don’t immediately grit your teeth when you get a text message, and you just feel better.
Getting rid of these people helped me eliminate a good bit of gossip as well. I want to encourage people, not bring then down and I realized that if I was talking about someone or criticizing them, I couldn’t encourage them. Now, I immediately get convicted if I start saying something about a person. God will tell me to shut my mouth. Sometimes I don’t even realize it is gossip until I start saying it and get checked in my spirit real quick. I will stop mid sentence and just say, “Never mind”.
Side note: Talking about someone isn’t always gossip. This is where the distinction got confusing for me for a while. We can talk about our day, the people we encountered, what they did, or even to get clarification about something that was said. That isn’t gossip. Gossip is intentionally bringing up a fault in another person because you get joy out of bringing them down or because you have a spirit of criticism in you. It is the intent behind the conversation.
When I first put gossip on my list of things to change, I would mention something someone did, or said to me and God would immediately bring up a situation where I had done the same exact thing in the past, but I know how much I have changed and I am glad God isn’t keeping tally of my wrongs or telling a bunch of people the mistakes I made. And it is so easy to get caught up in it! Especially when you are surrounded by people who do it constantly (which is like 90% of the population. There is a reason the Bible refers to the right path as the straight and narrow).
Growth is hard. It is extremely uncomfortable and there is always a grieving process with each thing we change in our lives. All of these things become part of our lifestyle. They are wired into our brains as who we are and changing that isn’t easy. Luckily our brains are plastic. They are malleable. We can literally decide who we want to be, and eventually that is how our brain will wire!
Becoming who you were meant to be takes time. Jesus was 30 before He started ministry and in those three years (30-33) he changed history forever. You aren’t behind in life. You might just need a little more preparation to handle the weight of your purpose. God knows what he is doing. In the mean time, try to be the best version of yourself you can be.
So, who do you want to be? Do you want to be comfortable and the same? Always living just good enough? Or do you want to be a world changer? A divergent who goes against the grain, thinks outside the box, and doesn’t allow a society of limited beliefs to dictate how you live?
We only get one life. How are you going to choose to live it?