Sending Mixed Messages
The sign caught my eye from across the store. Big bold letters, the decorative kind that one arranges on a shelf, proclaimed FAT. I chucked. Really? What store would want to sell a grouping of letters that said FAT? In this politically correct society where everyone monitors their words and FAT is the new F-word, why would anyone use that word as a display for home décor?
I stepped out of the checkout line and walked closer, trying to unravel the mystery. When I stood right under the shelving where the letters marched across the top, I started to chuckle. The narrow display shelf couldn’t accommodate the entire grouping—thus the bottom of the A covered up the letter in line before it—which was actually an E, not an F. The display said EAT, not FAT.
The whole incident made me wonder. How often do Christians get grouped and crowded so that their real message gets lost. Do we sit self-righteously on the shelf, thinking we have our act together and everyone can read about Christ’s love through our lives?
We think we’re blazing neon signs that proclaim “God Is Love,” when in reality, maybe the O, D, I and S get hidden and what we’re really blaring is ‘GLOVE.’ As in, try on my brand of religion and if it fits, than you’re in the club and I can like you and work with you and eventually love you.
Or maybe our sign says “Jesus Saves,” but Jesus got left off the shelf or stuck somewhere else, and people think that WE want to do the saving (or maybe we think that). But we can’t. Only Jesus can.
Romans 12:6-13 from the Message translation has some excellent advice on how not to send the wrong message.
“If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.”The better we know the One who saves us, the easier it becomes to send a clear message. Click To Tweet
How about you? Do you ever find yourself sending mixed messages?
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).I found inspiration for my Monday at #InspireMeMonday. Join us! Click To Tweet
So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!