When You Go "Against The Grain"

In my 70 plus years, I've never been too popular an individual, simply because I've gone "against the grain" several times in that time period. To go "against the grain" means going against socially accepted norms or practices (see definition).

While working for a major gas pipeline corporation many years ago, I had a disagreement with my manager over not wanting to adhere to a bureaucratic regulation which I thought was not only unfair, but just plain senseless. In other words, I went "against the grain." Coupled with the fact that I cost the corporation about sixteen weeks of workers compensation money when I accidentally slipped in some water on a warehouse concrete floor where I worked, severely spraining my ankle. After those two occurrences, I was transferred to another department.

A few years later, I again went "against the grain" with a different manager over his womanizing with various women of the same above organization without his wife's knowledge. After confronting him with my disapproval, citing biblical references, he laid me off along with 900 other employees due to a reduction-in-force. He could have very well kept me on as his administrative assistant, but I went "against the grain" and thus he considered me his enemy.

As you recall, Jesus went "against the grain" when He confronted and rightfully criticized the hypocritical Pharisees in their "religious" man-made practices (Matthew 23:13-39 YLT). As a result, His life was cut short in exchange for only 30 pieces of silver and a robber by the name of Barabbas (Matthew 26:14-15; John 18:40). In Acts 7, we see that Stephen went "against the grain" resulting in him being stoned to death by his enemies, who just happened to be the religious leaders of that day and time (Acts 6:9-15).

Beloved, when you go "against the grain" .... you will acquire enemies (both in and outside the church) and you won't be popular (John 15:18-20) But remember this: The Lord always constitutes a majority when it comes down to doing what is right, even if it's a majority of two — He and you!

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets


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