Now, we all know that everyone has flaws, everyone has made mistakes. I've done stupid things. You've done stupid things. That's the gospel. Through a miraculous sacrifice, we're no longer accountable for the mistakes we've made.
The Apostle Paul reminded us, young people specifically, about how we were supposed to bear ourselves, with this new, redemptive understand, when he wrote to Timothy, "set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
This verse aptly summarizes our new responsibility as children of Christ. But the question arises, "What is the example we are to set?"
I recently attended a concert where Matt Maher was playing, and in-between songs he talked about Christ's church. And the point that really struck home for me was when he said "The church isn't full of perfect people, but broken people trying to love perfectly."
The example we set is not in any accomplishment. It's the way we strive to be better and to follow Christ closer.
But here's the problem that I see. And it's one that scares me, almost more than anything else:
I see a generation that only cares about how other people see them.
And so they go about life. Sharing about Jesus, giving to the poor, being a positive influence on those around them, saying and doing (or at least claiming) all the right things in their relationships.
And the crazy thing is, they're not doing it to be fake or misleading. They do it because they'd feel bad about themselves if anyone really knew how little they cared. But they don't care, and that scares them.
But in the verse about setting an example, while part of it has to do with actions, the more important thing is the integrity, and the genuineness behind the action.
But that is being ignored. And the result of it is people artificially creating the results they desire, instead of allowing those actions being a natural outpouring from a heart that truly desires those things.
I've experienced this personally, through relationships, and even artificial pity for me concerning my mother's passing.
Now, please understand, I do not write this out of bitterness or hurt, though I do not deny there have been moments of both. But instead I write now from a perspective of extreme disappointment and concern. That concerns stems from a realization that these people can continue to ignore the gaping hole within their own heart and soul by continuing to heap onto the pile of "correct actions." The right godly counsel. The correct decision for a relationship. The humility through success. The list goes on and on.
I would rather see genuine, selfish choices made by people then in-genuine unselfish ones. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, it will make them realize where the heart truly lies, and allow God to change it.
I have met a lot of good people in the short time I've been alive. I've also met a lot of people who are trying to get it right, and say all of the right things, but their heart and their private actions contradict the appearance they put on for everyone peering in from the outside.
Quit the facade. Cut obligatory public appearances to say the appropriate things. Stop caring if you really don't.
We all have a tendency to be in-genuine. I know I do. And you'll never be able to completely get away from it. Remember, we're simply striving. Just don't make fake a life-style.
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."