The Rejected Ones: Holy Outliers

Holy OutliersWhen you LOOK a certain way, or THINK a certain way, or ACT a certain way, you are sure to fit in. BUT if you are wired to look, think or act way outside the statistical norm of your group – you are an “outlier.” Your data point is way out of alignment with your flock. 

That is sure to make you seem odd or peculiar…and that leads to a status of being “rejected” from the norm. 

Moses was driven off by his own people and lived in the isolation of the desert. 

Daniel was so popular with his peers in Babylon they invited him to dinner – with a den of lions.

Thus David’s brothers were summoned to Samuel or went to war – David was left alone.

But in each case God sent the outsider in to deliver His people and solve a problem. 

Gladwell points out in his book on Outliers how people coming into a field from a position outside, often bring not only a fresh perspective but fresh tools and applications. 

The great Revivalist Finney was in fact a lawyer who questioned every practice of preachers and innovated the “altar call” because any good lawyer builds a case for a verdict not a mediation!

Likewise Whitfield didn’t receive his training as a preacher from a seminary, he was trained in a bar where he grew up standing on tables and impersonating neighbors for tips! 

The outlier is often the rejected outsider who gets results in an unconventional way. 

David, the outsider, didn’t use a sword. he didn’t even have a sword! He used a Shepherd’s weapon, the slingshot. To behead the Giant he used the Giant’s sword. 

“So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. He did not even have a sword in his hand… He took Goliath’s sword out of its holder and killed him by cutting off his head.” (1 Sam 17:50-51)

Fitting end for Goliath, “for those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword” but those that use a slingshot will cause their enemies to fall by their own mischief. 

Some people act like outliers because they want to stand out for being different. That’s not a real outlier. Likewise rebellion is not really what an outlier is all about. The genuine outlier respects groups and honors others, they just think different.

So if you’re following Him where others are not, you are an “outlier”. Keep following – endure the rejection BUT don’t stop and certainly don’t murmur…keep looking for an entrance into a field where you can put your unique gifts and thoughts to work, PRODUCE RESULTS that nobody else is getting. 

At first they may think you wayward: 

(i.e. adjective ˈwā-wərd. : tending to behave in ways that are not socially acceptable . : not going or moving in the intended direction.) 

The fact is, the flock on earth isn’t always following accurately “the lamb whithersoever He goeth.” (Rev 14:4) That’s what makes Innovators, Inventors, Reformers, Emancipators and Prophets so interesting, inspiring and dear (after they’re gone.) 

As the songwriter said, “Carry on My wayward Son, there’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest and don’t you cry no more.”

– Lance

PS. The pic says “never mind what the axes mean…” and “axes” and “axis” are both acceptable spelling for graphs using numbers. Just saying…in case some outlier was gonna edjumacate me.

 — withStevenChar Klinkenborg and Sonya Scicchitano.

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4 thoughts on “The Rejected Ones: Holy Outliers

    • Another great S-Word, Dr Lance! Thanx.
      Such a helpful observation, too:
      “Some people act like outliers because they want to stand out for being different. That’s not a real outlier. Likewise rebellion is not really what an outlier is all about. The genuine outlier respects groups and honors others, they just think different.”.

      Really important to get this. Lots of folk seem to forget this In the push for people to be ‘exceptional’ and ‘youth to get ahead of their peers’

  1. “The outlier is often the rejected outsider who gets results in an unconventional way.” This is really good news for some of us reading this Lance. Comforts me way down deep, LOL!