Are you a Black Sheep? The term”Black Sheep” is often looked at with a negative connotation. The view is that the one who goes against popular opinion, societal fads and worldly conduct should be ostracized and rejected. This is not an article on race or the color of one’s skin. I am speaking of those who have been despised, looked at differently, excommunicated and even slandered because they are Born Again Christians. When one becomes a born again Christian they soon realize that they have stepped into a Marvelous Light. Things are now becoming clearer. That which was in darkness before, is now made known by the presence of this Great Light.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Ephesians 5:8 KJV).
This Great Light is non other than the presence of the Almighty God, Jesus Christ. It should therefore be of no great surprise that there now exists a gulf between you, the born again believer and them, the children of darkness. You have now begun a type of relationship with the Creator of all things. Your life is made anew. But with that newness of life comes consequences. This realization can be a hard thing for some to accept as they make the transition from a child of darkness into a child of the Light. The children of the world understand this as well and they seek to maximize that separation of light and darkness by excluding you from their lives. and making known to you your “difference.”
“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you“ (1 Peter 4:3-4).
Notice the particular wording in the above scripture, “think it strange.” The thoughts of those who are still in darkness begin to dwell on the fact that there is a Great change in you. They are accustomed to a type of societal norm in terms of the way things “ought” to be and they you “ought” to act. But when you display actions that go against the worldly ways and social worldly norms, they begin to “think it strange.” The children of darkness begin to form a separation. This process of separation is made manifest in relationships in the family, relationships on the job and even relationships in the church. “Really? in the Church?” Yes, in the Church. Even in the body of supposed “believers” there are those who create cliques. If you are not in the mindset of the church clique then you are ostracized. You become a Black Sheep even in that environment.
“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9).
From experience I have noticed a common theme in church cliques; They are worldly. You will see this as you abide in the Light and become separated from them. You desire and hunger for the Word and Will of God and frankly, they don’t. They care about the latest fads in dress, worldly music, worldly artists, Hollywood, and the latest social trends. Oh, and the cliques like to gossip too. If you begin to show your presence and try to recalibrate the clique to a spiritual level, they will further their distance from you. Hence, the price of being a Black Sheep.
“For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11)
Many in the cliques are born and raised in the church environment. they know how to go through the motions and appear spiritual. They can raise their hands at the right time and shout “Amen!” on queue. They have a form of godliness but also have craftily balanced out a worldly type of behavior and lifestyle. They are lukewarm. A Black Sheep can pick up on these type of individuals. Many Black Sheep have keen senses and good discernment. Because you have chosen to follow God and endeavor to walk in the Spirit you are now at odds with fake Christianity and with the world. You have chosen to respond to the call that was placed upon you by God. Now the price is being paid. You are a Black Sheep.
There are benefits however of being a Black Sheep. For instance, at the workplace, the majority there can care less about following God. It is full of heathen, sinners, fake Christians and liars. If you have been stationed in such an environment, you will surely stand out. You should. You will be visibly known as the Black Sheep. But I have found that the workplace is a great harvest field. It’s a great place to convert others to the Path of Jesus Christ. Some will be offended in you being a Black Sheep but others will gravitate to you in curiosity of your Faith. This is the chance to bring them to the the Light of Truth. As a Black Sheep you plant seeds, you don’t force the Truth into anyone. The Black Sheep is tactical. He knows how to properly plant and water seeds. Progress will be shown when others begin to respond to the Truth of God’s Word and they themselves become, Black Sheep.
In the family it can be different. Those who knew you well prior to your conversion will always know who you “once” were. They will bring this up to you as well. They have a subtle way of reminding you of your past. In times past you went with the flow, you acted they way they acted and you thought they way they thought. There was no distinction. But now you are born again and it shows. Your visibility as a Black Sheep cannot be hidden. Your family will initially see a change in you and this will lead them to curiosity. They think it’s all a sham and that you will be back to the same old “sinner” in no time. They may even try to influence you with the lusts of the flesh you once submitted to. But when that doesn’t work, they begin to see the change in you. Just as on the job and in the church and likewise in your family, you are now, The Black Sheep.
Understand this friend, it isn’t a negative thing to be labeled as a Black Sheep. Of course from their perspective they see it so, but we must look at the far bigger picture and the whole scheme of things. The Black Sheep is the blessed sheep. The Black Sheep have been granted a great inheritance. The Black Sheep have the Hope of Glory abiding in them. The Black Sheep have great worth and are going through a marvelous transformation. The Black Sheep are not destined to eternal damnation. The Black Sheep have been promised Eternal Life!
“But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” (Deuteronomy 4:20).
The fact of the matter is that you have an inheritance. You are on the path of eternal life. You have the Spirit of the Almighty God in you. You are separate, called out, chosen, a royal priesthood. You are striving for holiness and are walking in righteousness and fighting to resist temptations daily. In all of this, they, the people of the world, your co-workers, your family members, your once closest friends are unable to make sense of it all. They simply reduce you to the oddity of a Black Sheep. If only they knew, if only they were granted understanding that the prized position in this world is not to be esteemed highly by all men but simply to become, a Black Sheep.
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6).