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Be Like Noah. Be Different. 

Leaders want to make a difference. They want to change the world around them, affect the culture, and influence people. 

You can’t do that by doing what everyone around you is doing. To make a difference in your community, you can’t be afraid to be different.

You see this in the life of Noah, one of the most consequential people in world history. When all the crowd was going one way, Noah marched to a different drummer. In fact, he took the exact opposite path from the people around him. 

The Bible describes it like this: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. . . . But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:5-8 NIV).

The trend of Noah’s day was toward evil. In fact, it got so bad that God said he wanted to wipe everything out and start over with just one family, Noah’s family. 

In the middle of the darkness of Noah’s culture, the Bible says two especially important little words: “But Noah.” While everyone was going one way, Noah was willing to be different. He was willing to stand alone.

You’ll never change your community unless you first change yourself. Every great person from history has understood this. 

Abraham Lincoln refused to accept the popular notion that slavery was morally acceptable. 

The Wright brothers refused to believe that nothing heavier than air could fly. 

Gandhi refused to accept the injustice of British colonial rule.

Joan of Arc refused to believe that women couldn’t make a difference in 15th century Europe.

The world would be completely different if these people had simply followed along. You don’t make any impact by being like everybody else.

What does this mean for you? Think about what you see around you that you want to change. The price for making that change is you choosing to live differently. Until someone is willing to pay the price, it won’t change. 

Think about the ridicule Noah went through as he built that huge ark on his front lawn. Can you imagine what his neighbors thought? Noah thinks God actually talks to him. The Bible says that even his family ridiculed him. 

But Noah stood strong. He refused to fold under the pressure of becoming just like everyone else.

Paul writes in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).

We’re under tremendous pressure to conform today. Conformity tells us to be like the world, whether it’s right or wrong. We’re expected to act alike, look alike, even smell alike. But the Bible tells us that conformity is often the enemy of Christianity. 

There’s an American myth that says the majority is always right. But that’s just wrong. Popular opinion is often wrong. And if you choose to follow the crowd at all costs, you’ll miss God’s best for your ministry—and for your life in general. 

Be like Noah. Be different. Change your community for the better.

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