The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term misfit as “a person who is different from other people and who does not seem to belong in a particular group or situation.” Does this describe you? If so, you are not alone.
Growing up, I tried to fit in many tribes. In middle school, I hung out with the jocks. Somehow playing sports automatically signed me up to be part of this crew. However, I quickly realized their interests, personality, and behavior were in complete contrast to my inner being.
When I entered college, I joined a fraternity. Yes, it’s true–we had secret handshakes that gave access to special rooms and ceremonies involving candles/black hoodies. Moreover, the upperclassmen enjoyed waking us up in the middle of the night, lining us against the cafeteria wall, and yelling for hours because we didn’t memorize in alphabetical order the first, middle, and last name of all 30 students in our group. I definitely felt like a misfit my Freshmen year of college.
Before my 21st birthday, I lived my life yearning to belong. My identity inside never matched the people I hung around. I kept asking myself: “Who am I?” “What do I want to be?” “What are my ambitions, goals, desires?” “What is the purpose for existence?”
Then I met Jesus. I didn’t run to him; He ran to me. A misfit, a drunk, and a mouth like a sailor. Jesus wanted to hang out with me? I was unclean. Unfit for a relationship with the sovereign King of the universe.
But then I realized Jesus was known for hanging out with misfits. So much so that he was labeled a “drunkard and glutton” (Matt. 11:19) by the religious establishment. However, Jesus never comforted me in my sin. He made it very clear, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
When I gave my life to the Lord, I no longer had a fractured identity. Instead of finding my self-worth in school, relationships, or a career, I found it in a person. A person who loved me so much that he died on the cross for my sins (Jn. 3:16).
My wife and I just joined Refuge Church, a wonderful community of believers in Fort Myers, Florida. Our Pastor Brian Culbertson likes to use the term “misfit.” In fact, he was the one that gave me the inspiration to write this article.
Just this week, Pastor Brian called us to become “partners in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5) by committing to Refuge Church. After the service, we had cupcakes that read Welcome Home Misfits (Ps. 34:8).
Don’t you know that misfits are fit for the kingdom of God? We are called strangers in a foreign land (Ex. 22:21), a peculiar people (1 Pet. 2:9), called to be set apart (Heb. 10:10), no longer conforming to this world, but to Christ, the king of glory. If you feel like one who struggles belonging to a particular people, there is always room at the Christian table. So pull up a seat, sit down, and join in the conversation because you are no longer a misfit, but a child of God.