Double Dog Dared
“I Double, Dr Doodle Dog Dare you to..”
I can honestly say I used this phrase more than I should have growing up. Always daring, always walking the thin line of adventure. A quote I have appreciated by Charles Bukowski goes, “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” As a kid, it is easy to dare to be different. You are not yet faced with the worldly pressures of conformity, keeping you in a box, set on a shelf and labeled like everyone else. Children are allowed to believe and imagine; they are allowed to dream and to be different.
Society is training us to be just another branded doll sitting on the shelf: Programmed thoughts, words, and actions. It’s become all about pushing the right buttons and pulling the right strings. What you should do, gets replaced with what is popular to do and actions are no longer decisions, but rather, forced expectations.
Clearly, the ways of the world are not always the healthiest option for a believer. Christians are called to be different and set apart. In Daniel 1 we see Daniel and his friends in a position where they could choose to either follow their instructions, going with the status quo, or they could follow and serve God. Verses 15-17 (ESV) tell us, “At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. So, the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables. As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” They chose to set themselves apart from the world and God rewarded them for it. Following God’s commands may not be the popular option, but if we pray and live by faith, our actions will be rewarded.
But don’t get me wrong. It is a common misconception that if you follow God’s commands and live the “perfect Christian life” that things will be easier and always better. God does reward those who truly follow Him, but for some, this reward may not be seen until he/she gets to heaven. Just because we may or may not be rewarded in our timing, doesn’t mean that we won’t be rewarded in God’s timing. Those faithful to God are often dealt the hardest hand by the devil to try and get them to falter. It is because of this that we need to remember one thing. Michael Horton said, “The proper focus of holiness is not on being set apart from something, but on being set apart for something.” We are not just to be set apart from the world and worldly things. We are set apart for a purpose; set apart for Christ. Living for Christ may seem difficult at times, but it is worth it. Go ahead and be different. I double dog dare you!