Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


By Jeannette Haley

It’s amazing how sometimes an item of clothing that looks beautiful on the
coat hanger looks anything but wonderful on you when you try it on, while at
other times, something that doesn’t grab your attention because it looks
unappealing on a coat hanger can end up being one of the best-fitting and most
attractive pieces of clothing you own. That’s been the story of my life, not only
pertaining to fitting into apparel, including shoes, but to life in general. But how
many people want to be a misfit in their family, school, church, community, or
world in general? (A definition of “misfit” is “a person whose behavior or attitude
sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way: a
nonconformist, eccentric, maverick, individualist, exception, oddity, outsider”).
From early childhood and upwards most people try just about anything in
order to avoid feeling like a misfit. However, I believe there are certain “misfits”
that can be defined as persons of strong convictions who stand above the crowd,
and who refuse to bow, bend or break to the iron-clad will of others whose goal is
to force such “misfits” to conform to their own will, ways and wickedness by
oppressive means such as pushing, pressure, or punishment.

It’s becoming clearer to me, as I look back over different areas of my life, as
to why I didn’t fit in too well, if at all. The earliest recollection of my being
physically threatened because I didn’t fit in was, believe it or not, when I was
maybe barely three years old. A few little kids and I were standing together on
the sidewalk, about half a block from where I lived, when one of the little boys
decided to unzip his pants and show us something he had. As the little group
leaned in to get a good look, I grew disgusted, and stated in a matter-of-fact
voice, “Put that thing away or you’ll catch a cold!” To this day, I have no clue why
that made the small group so mad, but mad they got and when I saw they were
forming a gang against me, I took off running as fast as my little legs would carry
me, while yelling at the top of my lungs, “Mom! Open the door! They’re after me!”
As I reached the door with my pursuers hot on my heels, she swung the door
open, I dashed through it as Mom quickly slammed it shut in their faces.
Needless to say, I never saw those kids again and the misfit saga had begun.
I was a misfit in kindergarten too. I hated being stuffed in a classroom full of
little kids that I didn’t know and didn’t know how to relate to. I remember one day
the teacher told us to go to a section in the back of the room where there were
big, lightweight, wood blocks and told us to make something. In a flash they all
agreed to build a boat—everybody, that is, except for me. I stood alone watching
the excitement as they all somehow managed to organize and work as a team.
Well, “making something” to me was drawing, so I spent my time drawing
pictures with chalk along the bottom of a blackboard until the teacher spotted me
and told me I needed to join the other kids. That didn’t work either, because
nobody paid any attention to me and as I stood outside of the group, that
unsettling feeling of being a misfit hung over me like a shroud.

While still in grade school my parents left the church I loved and where I
learned so much in Sunday school. It was one of the few places where I found

myself “fitting” and where I could learn about Jesus and the Bible. When a
money-hungry wolf came in to replace our wonderful pastor, the church split, and
my parents quit going to church. There was some sort of a community church a
few blocks away, so on Sunday mornings I’d take the big, black family KJV Bible
and walk to Sunday school. The people there were so different from the church I
loved. They weren’t warm, friendly or loving and they didn’t notice me at all.
Again, I just didn’t fit in. Of course, now I know that the Holy Spirit was missing.
Zooming ahead to high school found me a bit of a “misfit” in the middle. The
upper socialite snobs wouldn’t give me the time of day and I didn’t much care for
them either. In my book they were a bunch of self-centered phonies. The kids on
the opposite end were scary because they defiantly chewed gum, liked rock n’
roll, stole hubcaps and other car parts on the weekends, and threw not a few wild
weekend parties. That left me in the “middle” so-to-speak, with a few other
genuine misfits for various reasons. When I discovered that there was an after-
school group of Christian kids meeting, I was overjoyed but–perhaps you guess
it—I tried that once and was coldly shut out. Not one of them even spoke to me.
Surprised, hurt and disappointed I knew that I didn’t fit into that clique either.
At nineteen, my life seemed to be one big blob of meaninglessness. I didn’t
fit in with the younger teens, yet I wasn’t considered to be an adult yet. It was
Misfit-Ville big time. So, I volunteered at a local church to teach Sunday school,
and they were elated to have somebody (anybody) take on the third and fourth-
graders. What I knew about children you could stick under a gnat’s armpit, but
that’s okay because I knew Jesus, the Gospel, and the importance of winning
lost souls to the Lord. Plus, I had a church to go to that I thought was a “normal”
church. This time I didn’t see myself as a misfit at all until one day an older
woman called me aside to inform me that the leadership was becoming more
than a little upset by my teaching. Looking back on it, I realize it wasn’t for the
sake of the children that they were upset, it was because many of the parents of
the children liked to come to my class and hear the simple Gospel. The other
reason was the fact that I was teaching from the Bible instead of from the
unbiblical, unbelieving curriculum they wanted me to teach. The bottom line is, I
was a misfit in that church because (as I learned years later) it was rapidly selling
out to the ecumenical, compromising, ungodly, antichrist, one-world religion

Okay, fine, no problem, I simply left and went with a committed Christian
friend to a Baptist Church (which we both also later left.) But, guess what? I was
a misfit there too. Especially in the ladies’ missionary society meeting I went to,
once. Where was Jesus? Where was the fruit of the Spirit? Where was the love
and joy of Christ? If I had been a stinky, raw piece of rotten fish dangling from the
ceiling, I would’ve been more welcome. (And, that’s a fact because they were a
clique of old country Norwegian women who made Lutefisk and other Viking stuff
that I could never bring myself to stick in my mouth.) To top it off, I was thirsty and
hungry for more of God, more of the Holy Spirit, and more knowledge of Him. I
couldn’t handle the weak, lifeless status quo and so, once again, I didn’t fit in.
The bottom line is, to walk with Jesus on the narrow path automatically
makes you a misfit in this world. There is nothing of the world, the flesh or the

devil (or what some consider to be “normalcy”) that can be in agreement or
communion with that which is set apart and Holy to the Lord. When we
consecrate our lives to Jesus, when we lay ourselves on the altar, when we say
“Yes, LORD, I want to be Yours, I want to follow You no matter where you lead, I
love You Lord more than the “all these” of the world, then you are indeed a misfit,
yea, more than a misfit in this present life. The Apostle Paul, who was a misfit to
many, both Jew and Gentile, said “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world” Galatians 6:14. He also said, “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but
ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we
are despised” 1 Corinthians 4:10.

Even a cursory glance through the Bible will reveal all the “misfits” that God
called and drew to himself for His work, His plan, and His glory. There is no such
thing as “fitting in” for a sold-out Christian because we weren’t meant to fit in to
this present world, but to be fitted for the world to come, and that starts by
obeying Christ who calls us to “Come out and be separate.” (See 2 Corinthians
6:17.) Paul warned, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God” Romans 12:2.

Rayola wrote, “When you talk to God’s sold-out servants, you find one
common thread that identifies them as to the fact that they had a decisive calling
on their life that they could not ignore. That thread is they never really fit into the
environment of their times. It is clear that God makes us believers unfit in our
time and generation in order to keep us separate as a means to consecrate us
and make us fit for His kingdom and use. This should not be a surprise since
Abel was killed because he did not blend in with Cain’s idea of sacrifice, Noah
didn’t fit in his wicked generation, Abraham in the Promised Land of Canaan,
Joseph when it came to his brothers, David in the political scene, Daniel in the
decadent society, John the Baptist in the Levitical Priesthood, and Jesus in the
religious scene. The truth for the servant of God is that being unfit does not just
point to being a round peg that doesn’t fit in some square hole: it points to the
realization that there is no place in the world where they will ever fit in the
scheme of things, and that it is God who has prepared their course and their
place both in His church and kingdom for His glory.”

As for our Lord being a misfit, we read in John 1:10, 11 “He was in the world,
and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his
own, and his own received him not.” Isaiah 53:3, 4 describes Jesus, “He is
despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and
we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him
not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem
him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Many of the Jews said of Jesus, “He
hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him” John 10:20? In Mark 3:21 we read,
“And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said
He is beside himself.” He didn’t fit in with the chief priests, the scribes, and the
elders who asked Him, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who
gave thee this authority to do these things?” (See Mark 11:27.) To choose to

believe, love, trust, obey, worship and follow Jesus means becoming a misfit in
this world, and that is a very small price to pay in order to be identified with the
King of kings, and Lord of lords! Consider what Jesus said about fitting into the
world in John 15:19 “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore
the world hateth you.”

Bottom line, we must never forget that the goal of the god of this world is to
kill, steal and destroy through manifold temptations, one of which is to offer
popularity, prosperity and power in exchange for your soul. The tragedy is, most
of mankind willingly takes Satan up on his offer because of the overwhelming
longing to fit in, acquire great riches, and obtain power. “For what shall it profit a
man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man
give in exchange for his soul”? (Mark 8:36, 37.)

The short journey we are taking through this world is fitting, or preparing us
or either heaven, or hell. The question is, which one are you being fitted for?

About Us

The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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