Peter referred to Christians as the “pilgrims of the Dispersion” (1 Peter 1:1, NKJV). It is translated as strangers or exiles in various versions. It means a “resident alien.”
The term was originally used to refer to Jews in the Old Testament that were captives in foreign lands. They were dispersed throughout the ancient world living in strange lands. Though in a place other than the land of Israel, it was still considered their true home – the Promised Land.
Similarly, Christians are physically here in this world, but it is not their home. Heaven is. We are captives here on earth while our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our heart ought to be set on going home; yearning for the day when we will be at rest and dwell with our Creator and Savior forever.
Strangers stand out. They do not fit in with the local culture. Their speech, dress, and behavior are different. So, it should be with Christians in this life. Too many want to blend in. They want their children to fit in to be included and accepted by their peers. Yet, this should not be a priority. Rather, we need to be comfortable being different – being strangers. We need to instill in our children that it is okay to not fit in instead of constantly looking for ways for them to be like others around them.
We are captive now, but will be set free one day. However, this will only happen if we live as exiles with our hearts set on our true home in heaven.