July 23, 2010

Gray Christians

I was getting dressed last Sunday morning and was attempting to find a pair of pants that matched the shirt I wanted to wear. I’m not sure why I choose a shirt color first, but I always do...and then try to find pants to match. I looked through my closet, and decided that the only thing I had that would match were gray pants. You know, universal gray, battleship gray, colorless gray, personality-voiding gray.

As you probably know by now, I’m not a fan of gray. Probably because, in my mind, its not really a color. It is just a dull mixture of black and white, light and the absence thereof. (By the way, black and white aren’t even colors) Gray is attention deflecting and non-descript. Gray universally matches nearly everything and nothing simultaneously. Worst of all, its universally accepted.

I’ve never hated gray more than I did a couple of weeks ago. I had a sermon prepared with a video and slides called “The Red Balloon.” When I arrived early Sunday morning, we tested the slides and video as we always do. But on this day, due to some technological mumbo jumbo, my red balloons were a really dark gray on the big screens. Fortunately, the A/V team figured out the problem by doing some of their A/V hocus pocus (which, by the way, always cancels out mumbo jumbo) and the balloons were red again.

Just as gray is non-descript, red is vivid. It is truly indescribable, beautiful and certainly is attention grabbing. When I think of Christianity, I think of these attributes...vivid, beautiful and attention-grabbing. Why else would Jesus say if we lift Him up all men would be drawn to him?

Satan tries to get us to see ourselves and our Lord as gray. You know, colorless, dull, absent of light, non-descript, and worst of all, universally accepted. He distracts our focus from the One who truly makes life vivid and beautiful by painting our heart with the “gray goop of nothingness.”

God has called us to live in the world, but not be of the world (John 17). We are challenged to be a peculiar people (Titus 2). We are told not to love the world or the things in the world (1 John 2). Being intentional about these callings from God are what paints our lives a vivid red. It makes us stand out enough ito attract attention to something bigger than us. Matthew 5:16 screams... In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Do you want to change the world? Stop being like it. You want to attract attention? Be different when it matters. You want to make a difference? Only love what can love you back. Live a life that is vivid, beautiful, attention grabbing and glorifying to God!

(If you’re wearing gray, sorry. I’ll bet it looks good on you.)

- JD

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