Have you ever been one way on the outside, but inside, you are really another?
Take for instance, a backlot studio facade. They appear to be a brick-and-mortar city and when you see them on a commercial or tv show, the only way you know the difference is from having been there.
But after further examination, you would find that what you see is only “skin-deep”.
Too often in my life I’ve been just like one of these backlot facades. I’ve told others I’m one thing, but if you dug a little deeper, you’d find that I wasn’t who I appeared to be. I would lie about my past. I’m sure that those around me figured it out after awhile and excused it as a sign of my youthfulness. I see it now as someone who was insecure and uncomfortable around others.
These days, I’ve found that it’s best to be transparent. And I’ve considered how I would treat that person if I met them today.
How do we treat others? Do we help make them feel comfortable and secure, or do we make it all about ourselves and our pride? We’ll do anything to keep that facade invincible. We will use lies, sarcasm, exaggerations, or whatever it takes. But what happens when our “fortress of solitude” comes crashing down? Would you be there for that person? Would you be willing to walk through a process with someone who had lied to you?
If you read Jon Acuff’s blog (I do) and have nosed around it (I did) you will find this statement on the “About” page:
“Does the stuff we like, ever get in the way of the God we love?
That’s the question Stuff Christians Like is all about.”
Jon has leveraged his humor to be used to impact and challenge others for the glory of God. If you read the article he wrote last year on Catalyst’s Catablog…you could “hear” his heart. Jon writes as a recovering-preacher’s-kid who has come full-circle to call himself and everyone one of us to the flying-carpet about the traditions, legalism, and other nonsense that we add to our faith.
“Stuff Christians Like” succeeds where the blog leaves off. It is a compressed view of what he writes everyday at 4:30 a.m. after his morning devotional and before he leaves for his I.T. job in the cubicle-farm.
I had to pause after reading some of the chapters, because I was still laughing and then at the same time I had to go back and re-read it and found that I was laughing and learning. That’s what strikes me about this author-blogger-father-husband is that while he is sarcastic, he is also painfully transparent with us about what some of the struggles look like. Take for instance,
“My friend had broken some sort of church employee, ‘Never see the movie Desperado starring Latin sensation Antonio Banderaas covenant’ so I immediately threw him under the bus and said, “It’s embarrassing, really, seeing pastors behave like this.”
This book reminds us to stop taking ourselves so seriously, let go of the stuff that we tack-on to our faith, and be real with the God who saves us.
How does this help you? If it does, let me know. I’m passing this video on to a friend who is the chairman of the board for a non-profit. I used to be on that board and remember how much my brain hurt from trying to come up with a mission statement. Maybe this will help board meetings to become fun?