Do you ever wonder what your friends think of you? Do you worry about how you’re perceived by others when you are in public? Of course you do. We all do. Our society places a lot of emphasis on appearances, physical and behavior. It’s normal, expected, and the cause of a lot of anxiety, depression and other mental issues.
However, as Christians, we tend to place ourselves in boxes to keep the world from touching us. We also hide our humanity from those on the outside.
What box am I talking about? The one where you, as a Christian, cannot talk about enjoying the latest pop hit or action movie. The box that holds only happy little bluebirds and pure thoughts. This box doesn’t allow you to listen to music other than Gospel, Christian, and Hymns. Your movie selection is severely limited and secular activities are out of the question.
My 19 year old daughter loves K-Pop music. She loves to dance to it, learn what the lyrics mean and has taught herself to read and speak some Korean because of it. She is afraid to talk about it, though. She has stopped “liking” the latest articles on Facebook because she doesn’t want to be judged by others for her enjoyment of the genre. I have heard the music, read the translated lyrics and watched some videos with her. There are some that I have questioned the words to, but the music is upbeat and energizing. She also watches Korean dramas, but doesn’t talk about those either. The fear is real.
Why is this box that she has put herself in so bad? Well…If someone was to look at her Facebook page, you will see one thing. When you get to know her well, you’ll see something different. The box that she’s in is not her true self. The humanity of living in this world is not evident. To some, she is unapproachable.
When we lose our humanity, we can lose our purpose. We are called to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. (Matthew 28:19 NIV) This “Great Commission” should propel all of us to go into the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ and the redemptive power of His saving grace. We cannot do that if we are not able to speak to others as people.
I can talk about God to my fellow church members all day, because we have our church in common. But if I felt led to speak about Jesus at a comic book convention, I would not be able to. I do not have anything in common with the attendees. But I know many Christians who love the comic book world, they can relate. I can associate with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney. My daughter would be able to share the gospel at a Korean performance or fan gathering of Whovians.
But who would know? If we are afraid to share the secular things that we enjoy, with whom can we share our salvation with? There is an old saying…”Preaching to the Choir”. What purpose does it serve to talk about God’s salvation in church or Bible study? Most of those in attendance have heard the stories time and again, but are searching for deeper knowledge. The ones that need to be reached are usually outside the church doors.
Making disciples is not an easy task. However, in order to reach the lost, we have to reach them where they are and allow God to work through us to show His light. We have to be transparent enough to show our humanity so those outside the box feel welcome. Better yet, tear the box down and shine Jesus’ light to everyone. Be a part of the world, not above it. Don’t sin while you’re out there, but don’t judge the sinners, either. God is the only judge. Be aware of the temptations, but don’t succumb.
The world needs God. He is not in a box, get out of yours.