If you have ever moved around very much then you know when you move you must make new friends.
Most of the friends you have now are there because they are going the same place you are, which may be nowhere. If you change directions and go somewhere else, many of them will not go with you.
They will think you are crazy. They will think you are mad.
Jesus was “beside himself”
Jesus was a carpenter’s son in Nazareth for almost thirty years. No doubt, he made friends. They probably knew that he was a bit odd, but he wasn’t too crazy.
Then it was time to start his ministry to Israel.
“And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” – Mark 3:21
It didn’t take long for Jesus to become famous. He went about doing miracles as signs of the coming kingdom to Israel. His miracles were so well known that people pressed him even when he was eating (Mark 3:20).
He ordained twelve disciples to follow him and to preach the gospel of the kingdom. This was not carpentry. This was not just talking to the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:46).
His friends tried to talk some sense into him. They thought he was going too far. It was possible that he was becoming a little … beside himself, which is the polite way to say, “you’re crazy!”
Paul was “mad”
We couldn’t follow Jesus in his kingdom miracle ministry if we wanted to; God has a new dispensation.
Yet, the more you follow Paul as the Lord Jesus Christ gave him instruction, don’t be surprised if your friends start to think you are a little beside yourself.
Why would you let some Bible doctrine affect traditions that have been going on for years?
Why would you change your lifestyle just because of a Pauline pattern?
Why would you change directions and go somewhere doctrinally different than your friends and kin?
It seems crazy to throw it all away!
When Paul did this after years of following his father’s tradition, it made him appear… well, beside himself.
“Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.” – Acts 26:24
Paul wasn’t mad, he was given a message from the Lord himself and he was not trying to please men.
“But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness… I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” – Acts 26:25-29
Paul never lost heart for his kinsmen in the flesh who were persecuting him in court, but he could never compromise right doctrine just because it made his old friends a little angry.
His new friends were his coworkers with the same mind about his mission. He kept ministering to the old ones, even though they never reconciled.
Are you crazy?
If studying the Bible rightly divided makes your old friends think you have lost your mind, perhaps it is because you needed to.
“…And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” – Eph 4:23
“…And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Rom 12:2
When we not only believe the truth, but make changes in our life to line up with it, friends will not like the “path you are on”. Don’t worry, you are not the first.
If you are fully persuaded that you are on the right path, then move forward. Apparently, no one in your circle of friends has seen anyone rightly divide the word of truth.
Exposing people who disagree to the right message of the glory of the cross is a good thing. They may call you crazy. It is time to persuade them you are not the crazy one, but the one who speaks the truth. This is called ministry.
Whenever you start something new friends will think you are weird. If what you start is a ministry to do “God’s will” they will think you are beside yourself.
Make new friends. Minister to the old ones.