Christian Living

Are You An Alien?

Brent Freeland February 28, 2020
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Men in Black, Star Trek, Star Wars, the list goes on. Aliens and Sci-fi have been a popular topic in pop-culture over the years, where people dream “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”


When we hear the term alien, we may picture a creature with green skin and antennae, who does things that we don’t consider to be normal here on earth. Now, this may sound like I’m describing one of your siblings, but I digress. Generally, we describe aliens as beings who are not from earth. 



Are you an alien? Are there times when you feel like an alien? Sometimes that is how I feel as I live my life for Christ. As strange as it sounds, I hope you do too. The language, values, customs, and expectations of this world seem foreign to me. But we can and should live as aliens.


Peter writes about alien living in 1 Peter 2:11 (NASB). Specifically, he tells us how to live as aliens when he writes, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent…that they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”



As a young Christian leader growing in your faith and influence, the world will continuously tempt and pressure you to exchange Christian living for worldly living. You will be influenced to embrace the customs, values, language, and expectations of this lost and dying world. You will be compelled to watch ungodly movies and television shows. You will experience ridicule if you do not agree with same-sex marriage and abortion. The list of compromises you will be asked to make is without end.


Thankfully, Peter tells us how we should live in this world. And, when we live that way, we will feel like aliens in many instances. But, living this way is part of your spiritual formation. Peter says we should abstain from certain things for a certain reason.  


To abstain means to hold yourself from wrongdoing or to voluntarily refrain from indulgence. The reason we do this is to glorify God. His glory should take precedence over our comfort. 



Let me illustrate this for you. I recently took a river cruise with my wife on the Rhine River that winds through Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Although I’m used to it by now, we appeared to be the only people on a ship of 200 passengers who did not drink alcohol. Talk about feeling out of place.


We were there to see the sights of Europe, but the main attraction for others was free alcohol and lots of it. The drinking began for most people at breakfast and ended when they fell into their beds at night or were carried to their rooms by friends because they could not walk themselves. We felt like strangers, but it was to the glory of God as we were able to influence him while we were there.



We must not assume that avoiding bad behavior and following a pattern of good behavior satisfies God’s call to personal holiness, however. We are unable to do this perfectly, and that’s why we need Jesus. On our own, nothing we do is satisfies God’s righteousness, but with Christ, everything changes. He lived perfectly for us, and through faith in Christ, we bring glory to God as aliens in this world. Christ, then, is our motivation to live as aliens, and His Holy Spirit is the One who empowers us to be aliens to the glory of God.


You will feel out of place and uncomfortable, but that is part of living for Jesus. It is part of what forms you into His image. It isn’t easy, but it is a necessary part of your spiritual formation. I challenge you “to boldly live as few have lived before.”

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of TeenPact Leadership Schools. To learn more about our Vision & Values, please visit

About the Author

Brent Freeland

Dr. Brent Freeland has spent 23 years in vocational ministry as a pastor and church planter. His passion is leading others to boldly live for… Read More