The expression “to stick out” arose sometime during the 16th century. By the middle of the 18th century, a new idiom replaced this older phrase. Subsequently, “to stick out like a sore thumb” was conceived. In the context of Christianity, to stick out means to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, Matthew 5:13-16. However, when you take a stand spiritually, don’t expect a pat on the back or a round of applause.
Amid honor and dishonor; in defaming and evil report and in praise and good report. [We are branded] as deceivers (impostors), and [yet vindicated as] truthful and honest, 2 Corinthians 6:8.
Apparently, Roman persecution of Christians spread to ancient Greece. Based upon what the apostle Paul had experienced and seen, openly expressing and sharing your faith often faced consequences. Believers were confronted, demanded to stop talking about Jesus and if they continued many were arrested, beaten and died as a martyr. This was the cost of being a Christian in the first century.
[We are treated] as unknown and ignored [by the world], and [yet we are] well-known and recognized [by God and His people]; as dying, and yet here we are alive; as chastened by suffering and [yet] not killed; 2 Corinthians 6:9.
Yet, the apostle Paul was prophetic about how future people of faith would suffer. As if reading an account from a modern newspaper, Paul talks about being branded as an imposter, deceiving atheists. If you’re active on social media, then you’ve seen individuals of the faith community vilified as controversial, dangerous and extremists. Nonetheless, if you are sold out for Jesus, 1 Peter 3:15-16, this is the cost of Christianity.
by Jay Mankus