This phrase appears in God’s conversation with Cain, the Law of Moses, Christ’s teaching to His closest disciples, in the Sermon on the Mount, and in Paul’s letters. “But you” is a recurrent theme in both testaments. You will be tempted but you need to resist. Your neighbors will be worshipping “A” but you need to worship God. Everyone else will be chasing “X” but you need to be pursuing “Y”.
In almost every decision in life “but you” applies. Those who follow Jesus work differently. They play differently. They study, enjoy, and create differently. They live differently. The Bible is clear about this from cover to cover but it is also honest.
You will be an anomaly. Most people are content to just do what everyone else does, think what everyone else thinks, and go where everyone else goes. But not you – you will do what Jesus did, think God’s thoughts, and follow His instructions.
You will be alone. Many people will cave to the pressure of the whims of the culture. But not you – you will stand as a workman who does not need to be ashamed.
You will be antagonized. Some people will hate you for your differences and find their purpose is defeating, deriding, and despising you. But you have turned your back on the world and will live for God’s approval.
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