Spiritual Practice

Friend of the Outcasts

Shelby Hill

You may think that in a Christian school everyone would accept one another and there would be no cliques. Wrong! In my Lutheran junior high, there were two cliques—the popular kids and the not-so-popular kids. The popular kids got good grades and had nice hair and cute clothes. The kids in the other clique were nice and smart and did what they were told, but they were picked for study buddies only after all the popular kids had been chosen. And then there were the outcasts. They didn’t fit in anywhere, and nobody liked them. They always sat alone during lunch. Nothing was wrong with them, but the word loser had been stamped on their foreheads.

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NRSV)

Looking back, I regret that I didn’t act more Christ-like toward the outcasts. I was afraid of being shunned by the other kids and of becoming an outcast myself. I could have set an example for my classmates by being a friend to the outcasts; but because I wanted to be like the kids in the cliques, I took part in hurting those I should have loved.


ACT ON IT: Arthur Schopenhauer said, “We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.” How sad is that? God made us different for a reason. Be confident in who you are; do what is right, even if you don’t get into the pretty-and-popular clique.

—from devozine (November/December 2008). Copyright © 2008 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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