Job Description for the Divergent - Dare 2 Share
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students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Job Description for the Divergent

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“You’re different. You don’t fit into any of the categories. They can’t control you. They call it divergent.”
—Tori, in Divergent

And what do they call you?  Jock?  Drama Queen?  Brain? Prep? Nerd?

Or do you sometimes feel like you don’t fit any of those labels? Or perhaps you are sick of whatever “normal” labels exist in your corner of the world, and you are looking for something better?

Those who follow Jesus tend to be the most divergent of all! Why? Because He was divergent.

That’s what the character Tris feels like in the movie Divergent, based on the bestselling book series.  She lives in post-apocalyptic Chicago, where society is divided into five factions based on your virtuous character traits.  Because she shows aptitude in three of them, she is labeled a “divergent.”

And because of that…she must die! (Cue creepy music.)

At least that’s what the powers that be think in the film, but I wonder how often as Christ followers we can relate to Tris’ predicament of being divergent.

di·ver·gent, adjective
tending to be different or develop in different directions

—Source: Google Search

Our world is not always so kind to those who are different or are developing in different directions, and those who follow Jesus tend to be the most divergent of all!

Why?

Because He was divergent.  Though a rabbi, He tended to be different from the greedy, power hungry, selfish culture that surrounded Him.  He developed His life away from the flow of society, and because of that, they crucified Him.

So why in the world would we dare to be different? Well, in the movie, Tris stayed true to her nature and was able to change the world—and I would argue that the same opportunity awaits those Christians who follow the same pattern.

How?  In futuristic Chicago, you would go through a series of tests and survive the eeeeeeevil government trying to take you out because you are trying to uncover their eeeeeeevil plot.

In our real world today, you must embrace being different and follow the job description that Jesus laid out for His followers who want to change the world:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down. Jesus’ disciples gathered around him, and he taught them:

“God blesses those people
who depend only on him.
They belong to the kingdom
of heaven!
God blesses those people
who grieve.
They will find comfort!
God blesses those people
who are humble.
The earth will belong
to them!
God blesses those people
who want to obey him
more than to eat or drink.
They will be given
what they want!
God blesses those people
who are merciful.
They will be treated
with mercy!
God blesses those people
whose hearts are pure.
They will see him!
God blesses those people
who make peace.
They will be called
his children!
God blesses those people
who are treated badly
for doing right.
They belong to the kingdom
of heaven”
(Matthew 5:1-10, CEV).

The word “blesses” here is potentially confusing because we tend to only use it when someone sneezes.  But the original word for “bless” is makarios—which is a powerful word used to describe someone who constantly maintained an inner peace and contentment despite all outward circumstances.

When the world is trying to squeeze you into its mold—remember that awkward is awesome!

In other words, when you follow the divergent path of being humble and pure and fully depending on God, you will be labeled different on the outside, but you will experience unsurpassed and unceasing internal joy.

But be warned!  When you put Jesus’ words into practice, you invite persecution.  The government won’t (most likely) be out to kill you, but the popular crowd may attack you emotionally and assassinate you socially.

That’s why we are so blessed by the way Jesus wrapped up this message:

“Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble” (Matthew 5:11-12, The Message).

Holy Cow!  When I am persecuted for being Divergent for Jesus and THE Cause of Christ, I get the applause of heaven and a place beside the great spiritual warriors from the Bible!

That’s an ending I am looking forward to…are you?

Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

The world is trying to squeeze you into the mold of “normal”—remember that awkward is awesome!  Be divergent for THE Cause so others can break free from the narrow minded culture of cool and find true peace and contentment.

Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Jesus, thank You for Your amazing teaching on being divergent.  Help us to apply those characteristics to our lives so others will see the peace we have through You and put their trust in You for salvation.

Read: Mark 3:7-12. Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him.

Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.

Get:  Life in 6 Words Outreach Book.  Help introduce your friends to the freedom found in Jesus using the Life in 6 Words outreach book. Youth leaders, get your 100 free copies of this book for your students to use at share6campaign.com.

Leader’s Discussion Guide

Big Idea: When we follow Jesus and model the Beatitudes, we will be labeled “divergent.”  But God uses the divergent to show the world how to find contentment in Him.

Key Scripture: Matthew 5:1-10

Discussion Questions:

  • What has been your main label in school?
  • Have you ever felt divergent?  What happened?
  • How can the Beatitudes produce internal contentment and joy?
  • How can you apply this Soul Fuel to living for THE Cause of Christ?

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