I am an outlier. I always have been. What is an outlier? An outlier is a person who is detached from the main body or system. An outlier is a person who is different from all other members of a particular group. An outlier is someone who doesn’t reside in the inner circle, and doesn’t concern themselves with fitting in. An outlier is someone who doesn’t follow the crowd. An outlier is someone who decides not to always conform to cultural norms.
As an outlier there have been times when I have stepped into the inner circle; however, I have always chosen to step back out, and remain an outlier. The reason is simply that given enough time, I have never liked what I see and hear in the inner circle. It’s not a judgement against those who were in that circle, it has simply always been my conviction. After all, I’m an outlier, I tend to be different.
The problem is that being an outlier is usually clothed in negativity by the main body, system, group, and culture. They will disassociate with, and discredit the outliers. So the outlier can end up walking around with a stigma attached to them.
If you are an outlier like me, I write this to encourage you. I remind you that Jesus made His company out of the outliers. His company had to be made up of people who were willing to go against the grain. He was going to be way to disruptive to the culture and system for it to be any other way. I encourage you that you are in good company. Just to mention a few; Elijah, John the Baptist, apostle Paul, and of course our Lord Jesus were all outliers.
Outliers have no need to conform to the norm. You can be creative, think outside the box, and stick to your mission. Go ahead and take the road less traveled, after all it is the narrow gate that leads to life. Most will look for the safe, secure, predictable, comfortable, accepted, well beaten path. Follow Jesus instead. Most will operate in self accommodation and embrace the prior conclusions of the mainstream. Most of the Jewish people sided with the mainstream, very few chose to follow Jesus.
Outliers are willing to prepare for years under a cultural stigma in order to be ready when their moment comes. John the Baptist spent years preparing for an amazingly significant 6 months. And of course there is Jesus whose ministry changed everything. Outliers are willing to risk all for their convictions. They do not live a life built upon convenience but rather craft a life built around their convictions. Death, or missing out on culturally defined success is not a fear for the outlier, the outlier fears missing their purpose.
The outlier loves the accolades of God more than the accolades of men.
Love people, value people, learn from people, accept people, etc, but it is ok if you don’t operate in groupthink or conformity. In fact, I would say that there is no better time than now to be different. Be so committed to living life kingdom first that you are willing to walk away from everything else. The kingdom for the outlier is like the hidden treasure, or the costly pearl. The outlier is willing to give up accommodations, the praises of men, and anything else for the kingdom.
You’re an outlier. It’s ok, so am I.
God is for you, and I am for you!