Mixed Messages

 Sending Mixed Messages

Eat, Not Fat

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?Mixed Messages

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!

Take a moment to visit the other hostesses, too! Angie, Cindy, and Denise.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • That is a funny story you tell, Anita. (Come to think of it, I don’t know who would want a sign that says “EAT” either!)

    But the part about mixed messages is true. God has really convicted me the last 6 months or so about being good news to my family first. Not to say I don’t reach out and share with others, but I mean I want to watch the message my husband and kids get from me most of all. (It’s so easy to be grumpy, judgmental, etc., with those closest to us!)
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…When God’s Plan is Different than YoursMy Profile

    • Oh, I’m with you, Betsy, on the sending the right message to our family first of all! Our house is our most important mission field–I almost realized this too late :(.

  • Pingback: A Prayer for Minou | Health & Home & Heritage()

  • Wonderful post. I found it interesting to read as my family & I have been talking about a very similar subject – authenticity. I desire that the message I put out is the same message I live out & that the message aligns with God’s Word not my opinions. A great reminder in this post!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Call On HimMy Profile

    • How true! In order to be authentic, all of our thoughts, actions and words need to ‘line up’ with the One.

  • Can’t really comment coherently, very hard night, pancreas went nuts.

    Did get a link posted, and will visit other later if that’s ok.

    Need prayers. Had an NDE from shock.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…The Scorned SpouseMy Profile

  • OK, I left a comment on the blog right before mine because it was soooo good (in the link-up.) 🙂 But I either messed up and didn’t leave one at all, or left two identical comments. Either was — my apologies to the blog author for my error!
    Stephanie recently posted…Don’t Stay in the ShadowsMy Profile

    • Ack! I know how that goes! Some days it just seems as if nothing works ;).

  • Oh, thank you, Anita! You’ve really got me thinking about doing a spell check on my life message. Do I have some typos, some omitted words or letters which send a mixed message or a false message?
    Thank you for causing me to think outside the box today!
    Lisa Brittain recently posted…Psalm.Sunday.My Profile

    • I love your logical conclusion, Lisa–that we need to do some ‘spell-checking’ in our lives! How often to I remind my students that they need to spell-check before they turn things in ;)?

  • Anita, this is such a powerful piece. I have never thought about what signs including me look like to others when parts and pieces get covered or are missing. This feels so Holy Spirit led. I love the message as it touches my own heart.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Breaking for SpringMy Profile

  • Oh! Wow. Another slam dunk Anita. This part just hit me like a ton of bricks! “How often do Christians get grouped and crowded so that their real message gets lost.” So true.
    Messy Mom recently posted…Coping With LossMy Profile

    • Here’s to ‘spell-checking’ our message and staying close to the one we want to represent!

  • I loved the EAT to FAT! It is very easy to send mixed messages isn’t it? We have to work hard to keep from doing so. Thanks for giving me some “fat to chew on”!
    Paula recently posted…My Simple Woman’s DayBook Entry-March 16th EditionMy Profile

  • Well then. I will be chewing on this for quite some time. This story was such a powerful way to portray this message. I just love this post and your heart. Thanks, friend.
    Colleen MItchell recently posted…My Dangerous SkinMy Profile

  • Really loved this post! Such truth and creativity together! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Sarah Lango recently posted…Who Am I? The Journey of Nothing and EverythingMy Profile

  • Mixed messages. Wow, this is so good, Anita. What messages have we been sending that we never intended to share?

    A rich feast here today, friend. I am glad to be back in your world.

    Linda@Creekside recently posted…5 Simply Splendid Reasons to Take a Break from Blogging . . . and a Coaching GiveawayMy Profile

  • Wow. Beautiful insight! I love how you always connect things in our every day to teach us a lesson on God’s love and how we can be loving others even more. Thank you!

    Christine Leeb recently posted…A Servant’s Prayer: I Am YoursMy Profile