We have all met the Christian who always has the perfect one liner. In fact, for those of us who are Christians, at some point we have probably been the one with that all too perfect phrase. It just feels good. Everyone likes to make a statement that leaves the listener in a state of bewilderment. Like the punch line of a joke, those perfectly bold statements have the just the right amount of impact to provoke one’s thoughts.
Over the last few weeks, in my attempts to only reveal my true face, I have become acutely aware of my own motives and intentions in posting any thought, concern, or even mindless rambling on any form of social media. In the midst of this awareness, I have developed a greater sensitivity to the facade of perfection and superiority portrayed by so many in the form of those impeccable and thought-provoking statements.
The problem does not lie within the statements alone. If the statements came from the mouth of Jesus Himself, they would be entirely acceptable, as He is perfectly capable of living according to His own word. The problem is that far too often, the statements are spoken as a portrayal of the identity the speaker longs to be known by.
The trouble with these disingenuous masks is much greater than the disconnect between words and actions. When we use our words to uphold a certain image before the world, we begin to find our value in our ability to maintain and deliver that image, rather than pursuing a lifestyle that actually sustains that image. I truly hate cliches, but the reality is that our actions speak so much louder than our words.
The misfortune of the matter is this: When we use powerful and potentially life altering statements to preserve our own image, but do not follow through in our actions, we discredit those truths. This creates a setback for us in our ability to impact, as it lessens the value of our witness over time.
In a recent conversation, my sweet friend Olivia spoke very profoundly about honoring the ways of culture. To sum it up, she explained that sometimes it makes no difference how something should or should not be perceived, but instead, it matters how it is or is not perceived within society’s framework.
As easy as it is to say all of the right words, the reality is that society cherishes the track record of our actions far more than our ability to form the perfect sentence. Although we would love to simply say all the right words, and have those words paint the portrait of who we are, it just does not work that way.
Apple Tree could say to Orange Tree, “I’m Lemon Tree,” but the moment she starts having baby apples, Orange Tree will know the truth.
And so it goes. We will never be known by our revelation and insight, but always by our fruit.
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
For those of you who made it all the way through this post, here is a bonus video of one of my original songs! Enjoy!