“Blend In!” Are You Kidding Me?

0829 Don't blend inOn a recent television show this question was asked of a social “expert” We have just moved into a new community, how can we make a good impression on our neighbors?

The expert answered

The most important thing is not to be different. People weird out when they meet people who are different. ‘Blend in’ he said, ‘be just like everybody else.’

I almost threw my coffee cup at the television.

Forgive the rant, but I don’t want to blend in! I want to be different…..

  • weird
  • talkative
  • stubborn
  • fun to be around
  • full of surprises
  • adventurous
  • caring
  • steadfast in my beliefs
  • that Christian guy
  • questioning
  • loyal
  • committed

I’ve got the weird, stubborn part down and I am working on the rest. Every one of us are unique creatures created in the image of God. If we were created unique, shouldn’t we be unique?

None of my friends are people who “blend in.” They are outspoken about their faith. Some are outspoken about their opposition to faith. All of them are outspoken about their passions.

They stand out!

Both the television and my coffee cup remained intact, but my spirit is still steaming. Help me here.

Question: Do you think we should blend in? OR Should we should we be people who cause others to ask, “What in heavens name has gotten into you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

P.S. Pray for my television.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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32 thoughts on ““Blend In!” Are You Kidding Me?

  1. I don’t think we can make blanket statements about blending in. There are times when wisdom would say lay low, especially in new situations until we understand the dynamics. Then, there are times when we should stand out. In my own circumstances, in person, I tend to not speak about my passion for people to understand God’s absolute love, but, when I write, I definitely stand out–what I share is very different from what most believers have been taught. (Just a note here, what I share is grounded in the Word of God and is reasonable and logical.)

  2. I always try to feel the crowd or group out first… as I find my niche I will start to interject what my thoughts are, esp. if they are statements or comments that let folks know about God. How He is with us all the time through all we do and what He has personally done in my life or my families… the things that you just know are God Things…. sometimes folks are interested, sometimes you can tell they think your weird or crazy, because if they aren’t believers in what God does some of the things you tell them sound crazy to them…. I love to tell stories about the things that God has shown me that lets me know He is listening always… from a baby oriole in our tree, to a book on a bookshelf in a Nursing Home that God knew, and no one else did, that I wanted to find and read… that sends chills up and down a persons spine, to know that He knows everything that is in your heart, even a book!! But it shows me that He loves all of us so much that our hearts desires, even if it was that book, matters! People give you weird looks especially if they aren’t there in their walk….

  3. Who is more apt to get your attention? The lamb or the lion? Where do your eyes go when looking at a painting of a red dot on a gray field? God put us oddballs on this earth BECAUSE we are oddballs and can think outside the box. Who wants to blend in so much that you become another boring dot on the landscape?

  4. In the world we live in we HAVE to stand out. We have to be a christian example to everyone we meet. Everyone is going through something and everyone needs God and we can plant that seed by wearing the clown shoes.

  5. As you know I try to blend in when ever possible whether it be wearing my camo to church so nobody can see me to wearing my Sunday best hunters orange shirt for a night out with my wife. I can’t blend in or remain quiet, if I did how would I be able to explain to little children that it’s ok to be in a wheelchair or explain to their parents that one cannot catch disability by association. Blend in has never been something I’ve been able to do and I encourage everyone to find out who they are and then be themselves.

  6. Ken, I love this. There is a Jewish story that says if God made us all the same, God would just be a glorified coin-maker, who makes coins all the same. Rather, God is a creator who makes each of us unique, and our uniqueness is the image of God inside each of us.

  7. I’m totally with you on this, Ken. I’ll add my tea cup to your hurtling coffee cup. There are way to many masks worn to help us “blend in” (i.e., pretend to be someone we are not).

    However, in new situations it is sometimes wise to buy your time and feel out your crowd before “weirding” them out. I don’t recall Jesus trying to blend in, but He did choose His timing wisely (of course, His timing was perfect :)).

  8. I agree with Patricia … it all depends on the situation and context. There are times (like in a new community, new church, etc.,), where “standing out” will make people cautious, apprehensive, and possibly even turned off. In those situations I believe it is better to “blend in,” and then as people get to know (and trust) you, you “earn the right to be heard” (as we say in youth ministry), and you can then begin to stand out with your unique qualities and perspectives. Jumping in too soon can be a bit off-putting to some and become counter-productive. Then again … some would say: “who cares — go for it!”

  9. Ken, I agree that we must be true to who we are, not compromise, to blend in. I am a Professional Clown “Hugs” and last night I went to see my son play music at a local pub in as Hugs. I had been performing in a resteraunt and got out in time to stop by. So imagine a clown sitting on a bar stool cheering the guitar player, with my button that says “Jesus loves you”. I was sharing with a young man that is a fan of my son how I am writing a book to encourage and inspire people to know Jesus!
    But I have to say that there are some personalities that are not bold like we are, like my daughter.
    Love the picture with the clown shoes!!

  10. When I find myself in a stuffy environment I ask myself what would Rodney Dangerfield do? Who wants to blend in like a cookie cutter? I try to be myself and have some fun. There is humor in almost any situation and I try to find it.

  11. Be genuine, be the person God created you to be. If you’re reflecting that your bound to make a great impression. And if not, well you can’t please all the people all the time.

  12. I am who I am and I usually fit in but I don’t care cause God made me this way and I will stay this way till my time one this earth is done, and I will probably be the same in Heaven!!

  13. I think you’re absolutely right Ken, I could not agree with you more. I also have come to appreciate being the individual person that God created me to be! Normal is a setting on a dryer, and fitting in just for the sake of fitting in, doesn’t even sound good to me. It people don’t like me for who I am, then I’m not sure we were meant to be friends anyway. I think we should be able to be ourselves…

  14. I agree with you Ken. If someone would have asked me this question a couple of years ago, I most likely would have sided with the guy on TV; now, I am somewhat tired of trying to fit in. There are some scenarios in life where I still struggle with trying to fit in, but I am getting tired of this. All my life I have been a geek and a nerd. It has taken the last several years for me to feel like that those words are not negatives. I love superheros (mainly DC), Legos, and technology. I really like to see if I can get all of my components to communicate with each other. Sort of like how Iron Man has Jarvis. Everything is linked him.

    Thank you for these blogs. I have been reading them for a while now and have shared some of them on my Facebook page. Even though I don’t get to respond much to these either I forget about it, or I get busy doing other things, I enjoy them and continually learn from them. Keep on writing and being unique. 🙂

    Nathan Sneed, age 22

    PS) Sorry if I jump around a lot with my sentence topics.

  15. I sure hope I’m different from what the world calls the norm. To be really different these days all you have to do is mention “The Lord Jesus Christ” using the full title of His Divinity and the world will put you in a cage.

  16. I think his answer was off the mark anyway. My answer would be: Keep your yard clean and well-tended, invite people over for a barbeque, greet the neighbors when you see them outside (and act normal when you do so that they won’t think you’re weird 🙂 ) Later, the neighbors can find out how weird you really are, but by that time, they’ll like you enough to accept your weirdness. 🙂

  17. Didn’t God make us all unique? He certainly made me unique. I blend in like a
    boil on your nose. Our Lord made us all different, if it’s good enough for Him it’s
    sure good enough for me.

  18. Have always been “different” in my unique way. And I am tickled at the impressions I leave with people. I’m not offensive, and I’ve learned to be a bit more tactful, but a lot of people have known to say: Boy, if you really don’t want to know what Amy thinks, DON’T ask her cuz she’ll tell ya!” AND I’ve had people say, “I always ask you when I want total honesty cuz I know you’ll tell me the truth.” Add to that my skewed sense of humor and I can tell you Ken, I hav NO wish to “blend in”!

  19. In the Book of Acts, the comment made of the disciples was; “These men who’ve turned the world upside down have come here also!!” I’m not sure the disciples goal was to blend in and not rock the boat! My goal is not to be obnoxious, however, if we’re to be a city set on a hill and a light to the nations, we’re going to have to live outside of the world’s “box”. May the Lord help us to be “uniquely you” in re-presenting Jesus to a desperate world.

  20. Didn’t God make us all unique? He certainly made me unique. I blend in like a
    boil on your nose. Our Lord made us all different, if it’s good enough for Him it’s
    sure good enough for me.

  21. I just want to be me God said I am wonderfully made .Aslong as I believe that ,and live for Him I can be a blessing to others .Thats my goal to everyday bless someone I don’t know .Thanks for the many smiles you have sent my way when I needed to be uplifted. Hattie

  22. I have to look to Jesus as my “role model” — did He fit in? Or did He stir things up. Obviously we need to be sensitive about the situation and who we are dealing with. Jesus was very gracious to those who wanted to learn more, but to the Pharisees and Sadducees He was without mercy.

    It is wrong for us to be like Peter and deny our relationship with Jesus, just to “blend in.”

    Here is one of the best message I have heard on this subject in a LONG time!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncEhCvrVgQ&list=FLfxEWZWPjH_okhil4Wmp33w&index=9

  23. I fully agree!! The pressure to fit in and be liked is so real. I keep telling my daughter that it’s better to be hated for who you are than to be liked for who you are not.

  24. ONE thing. Are you kidding me? Next time I’m at your house, Ken, HIDE THE TV. To start with I wear two different socks everyday. They clearly DO NOT MATCH. Going through airport “security” I LIVE for the one TSA worker (out of ten) who looks down, does a double take, and whispers to me, “AH, your socks don’t match.” To which I reply, “Oh, great, Now we have to wear matching socks?! What’s next?” If you do it every day (starting with pairing them unevenly right out of the dryer), you don’t have to think about it. It’s fun after giving a big keynote at a corporate convention to see how many will comment later about “…y’know, your socks don’t match?” I frown and say, “They match the pair in my suitcase.” I say stick out or stay home! For proof, please notice that God only made ONE of you.

  25. Too often in our society we spend so much time trying to fit in and be like everyone else. God has created each and everyone one unique. If we spend more time on glorifying God with the talents and gifts he has given us and a lot less time trying to be what others and society wants us to be, we would be a lot happier. In reading Nic Vujicic’s book “Life Without Limbs,” it was a big turning point in his life when he realized that God had a purpose for his life rather than that God was punishing him. As a junior and high school principal, it is a big challenge to encourage young people to dare to be different and to be themselves. If you are not comfortable inside your own skin, how are you going to be happy in life. Stop letting others tell you how you should be and start deciding for yourself who you should be. Thank you for your perspective and humor Ken!