A lime-colored bug sits on a plant and goes unnoticed. Even though it moves, it still blends in, until I hit the focus button on my Nikon and see the insect for what it is apart from its camouflaged surroundings.
Who enjoys standing out in a crowd. It’s easier to blend in; plus it doesn’t take as much effort. But hiding is a lonely endeavor. How long can you camouflage your soul?
Matthew’s haunting words are still relevant. “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (16:26a, NLT)
I have a friend who loves to hunt deer. During this time of year, he puts on his camo hat, pants and shirt and climbs up his mini-ladder. He sits, waiting for the perfect moment to nail a buck or a doe. He is a quiet man, so he doesn’t mind sitting silently up in a tree, even if it lasts all day. But, regardless of his success, he still has to come down and face the noise of the real world.
Dick Staub says Christians respond to our world in one of three ways:
- de facto withdrawal into a protective cocoon;
- combat in the culture war, or
- a widespread, chameleonlike conformity
Staub continues, “Our instincts for personal spiritual survival warn us to stay clear of this alternatingly inhospitable and enticing place. Yet ironically, this soul-threatening society also offers our greatest opportunity for influence, because an unraveling society produces a spiritually restless people needing Jesus’ transforming good news.” (Too Christian Too Pagan)
I think Staub’s third response is the most prevalent. People are restless spiritually, but if we don’t get our so-called “Christian” selves together, we can cause a thirsty soul to walk away and drink the kool-aid this world offers. What is the point of Christianity other than leading folks to the way, the truth and the life that is found only in Jesus Christ.
Some Christians hide in a church. That is the big hindrance of mega-churches today. They’re so big that no one will notice you. Yes, you may have “gone to church” but how are you different when you come down from the mountain top of worship and face the nitty-gritty world you live in.
Paul makes it clear, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)
If we aren’t convinced that Jesus is the only way to God and we are also way off track in our witness, our speech and our actions, then we are like that green bug that just sits and blends in. It’s like we jumped into the world’s blender where no one hears the truth, no one is convicted by the truth, and no one believes the truth. Turn off the blender. Jump out. It’s overcrowed.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”