02 February 2005

On the outside looking in-what do they see?

So, I just saw something kind of disturbing. I caught part of a TV show tonight, that really got me thinking, "how do I want others to view me?" A little bit of background on the show:
Jack-oldest of two, raised by an atheist single mother, currently has a hurt leg, broken or something.
Missy-Pastor's daughter, head cheerleader, etc
Jack & Missy are dating. And they are juniors in high school. Missy dated this guy Randy over the summer, while Jack & Missy are broken up. Something like that.
In the episode they arrive at a party. The first thing Missy says is "Oh, look at Tina (I don't remember the name she said). Some people should just NOT wear ponchos." Jack responds, "Missy!" Missy says something to the effect of, "Well, it's true-she looks like a tent."
About 30 seconds later, they walk up to Randy, who is throwing a party. Randy offers Jack a jello-shot, and then in the next 10 seconds, tells him he's praying for him and tells him "the Big Guy" can do some pretty amazing stuff. You can just see the wheels spinning in Jack's head. You know he is saying to himself, "What a load of crap, this God-thing is...These people are rude, immoral, hypocrites. Why would I want anything to do with them.?"
I look at that picture, and wonder, what kind of witness was I in high school? What kind of witness am I now. And then there is two sides to this spectrum: There are those who look at Christians and see annoying hypocrites, and think "why would I want to hang out with, much less believe the same things as those hurtful hypocrites?" And then there is the other end of the spectrum, that says, "I just want to have fun, do what I want. I'm not going to let a big old fat book and some old dude on Sunday tell me what to do. I want to have my cake and drink some brew?" So who am I to compete with that? What's a girl to do? What does God want me to look like? And how do I get there? Anybody else got any thoughts?
Father God, Be my guide. Mold me into your image. Let my life be inviting to others, but let me not be persuaded by the ways of this world. Amen


Gina said...

I'm beginning to learn that if I'm looking at everyone else, I'm not looking at God. If I spent the energy I use wondering and worrying about what others think and how they see me and applied this energy instead to knowing God more, I'd be where He wanted me. Wow, that was totally not me that wrote that. I think God wants me to read that for myself. God, that was good. Thanks.

Mad Cow said...

As a recovering swearaholic with a VERY dirty mind and healing from a bad case of Sailoritis (a terrible disease of the mouth), I can say that it's not what you say, but how you say it. Similarly, it's not what you do, but how you do it. Would it be best if I never swore, never drank wine with dinner, never indulged in a sweet line of expletives? Possibly. But would that be reaching anybody? There have been times in my life where just being my God-given dirty self has helped people to connect with me. The issue is what I choose to do with that after the person has let me in.

Conversely, there have been times where my bad-girl behavior has turned some people off. I guess it's all about the situation, and what God directs you to do. I'm still learning that how you use your tongue and your actions can determine a lot, and it's best to follow His direction. Whenever I've tried either approach, if it didn't feel right in my spirit, then it ended badly. But whenever I trust God and His guidance, it works like a charm.

The hardest part for me is leaving myself open to hearing that gentle nudge I feel when God is talking to me. Granted, sometimes it's less gentle, more like a swift kick to the ass. But if He always nudged me so strongly, I'd never grow.

However, I'd probably advise against serving Jello shots at a prayer meeting. Unless you're lubing up the pastor to get a better sermon. Not that I've ever done that.

Thomas Costello said...

this is one of my favorite topics to discuss. There is such a tension between being a separationist, and a conformist. I am not sure where I fit in on the continum. I am with Gina though. we need to be Christians. I don't mean your typical evangelical, Christian, but literally - little christs. what does that mean. If the bible isn't against it...pray about it...if there is no check in your heart...party hard.