Opinion – Jamie Stephens (Guest Columnist): Live the life of a scorned outcast

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Live the life of a scorned outcast

What thoughts cross your mind when you run into a young woman or man with tattoos who is dressed all in black with piercings at a shopping center? Do you feel disgust, pity, anger, adoration, curiosity, or do you just feel like panicking because you believe they worship Satan?

Really think about your reaction toward them. Would Jesus immediately condemn such people for their cultish appearance? Some of us say He should convict them about how it is a sin to destroy their temples with those horrific piercings and tattoos. Refer to Revelation 19:16 and Psalm 22:16 about the piercings and tattoos on Jesus. Many would believe they are demon-possessed and would demand He should cast the demons out of them!

Is this really the heart and love of Jesus? Jesus does not look at our outer appearances. All that matters to Him is our hearts. (Luke 16:15) Imagine yourself at that shopping center with that young woman or man who constantly receives condemning looks from those who consider themselves to be “good, decent people” and who are “always striving to please the Lord.” Maybe you are that “decent” person in the shopping center and are thinking, “God, have mercy on that outcast’s soul!”

If that is your reaction, maybe you should consider taking a closer look at your own heart. (Romans 2:1)
Imagine Jesus passing both of you at that shopping center, but He stops as He senses something is not right. Remember, he does not look at outer appearances. He only sees our hearts. That’s what is important to Him. Maybe it is true that this young woman or man is struggling in some type of emotional pain, addiction, or distance from Him.

Or maybe he or she is already a believer and disciple of Christ, but they dress this way because it is a constant, humbling reminder that they are outcasts like Jesus. Maybe their love for Jesus is so great that they desire to follow Him in the most unique ways. Maybe they do hang out with other outcasts of society in bars and rock concerts, but that does not mean they have lost their way. Jesus, Himself, walked among the drunks, prostitutes, thieves, tax collectors, etc. These were the ones who eventually followed Him.

Maybe this outsider finds that these other outcasts of society are much less condemning of others and more loving than most Pharisees or “decent people” who won’t admit their own sins. Maybe Jesus has called this person to be an outcast to reveal His love, mercy, healing, and compassion to other outcasts who are also being condemned by the “decent people”.

Maybe this outsider prefers to be an outcast because Jesus was also considered an outcast of society when He walked among us over 2,000 years ago. Jesus wanted and still wants nothing to do with the righteous who condemn the outcasts. He only came for those who need and desire healing, who are wounded, who are mistreated, who are humble, and those who sincerely admit they are not worthy. On the other hand, if we know someone who is struggling with sin and is mistreated, it is not our place to condemn them. God does not condemn either.

Jamie Stephens, from Jackson Parish, Louisiana, is the author of three books and is a regional reporter for the Louisiana Baptist Message. Her Immortal Memory trilogy was published under her pen name, Sylvia Frances, is available for purchase on Amazon in eBook format and will soon be available in print. She also has many other Christian fiction and nonfiction novels that are works in progress.