Deep into a creative writing project I hit a wall. How do I explain to leaders they need to “Illuminate the curriculum”—you know, shine a light on it to help students understand, think, feel and then act based on what I’ve put on paper.  So I call Jennie to vent.  “I’m stuck”, I say.  I explain my dilemma.  “These are just words on paper.  They are useless unless someone who understands explains, draws picture, breathes life into them.  At best it’s decent curriculum for students but at worst—it could confuse new believers!  It could bore mature believers.  I’m totally stuck.”
Jennie says, “Jesus said the same thing.”  She’s a good friend who knows that comparison will make me smile.  She reminded me of the passage in John in which Jesus says to the Pharisees, “you have memorized these scriptures that are about ME but you won’t even come to me”.   “We have to be different people”, Jennie says.  “We can’t just do these studies and hope they sink in.  We actually HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT PEOPLE.” 
And I’m thinking, “Duh”.
I realize that I am hoping to change the lives of young believers as I put lessons down for leaders to use in small groups when it hits me; I don’t know how DIFFERENT I am.  Do I live in such a way as to draw attention to myself by how I serve or love or laugh?  Do people KNOW I am a Christian by my love? Or do I fade into this world filled with kind-hearted, good-intentioned people who often serve selflessly, but without Jesus?  And can I ask followers of Jesus to do something I learned to do in 1980…but keep forgetting?
“We have to live differently.  The only way people will know that we love Jesus is by the way we live.  We have to live differently.  We can’t TELL kids to live differently.  We can’t expect NON-believers to live differently (by God’s standards).  We must live differently.  And maybe the reason that our friends aren’t coming to Jesus is because we aren’t living all that differently.” 
My Friend Jennie

Jennie asks, “What are you doing?”
“I’m writing down what you are saying.  It’s genius.”  I am a good friend who knows how to make her smile too. 
What does it mean to live differently?  Let me know what you think!  teddipettee@surewest.net. 
I’m Going for Different,
Teddi

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