Thursday, January 1, 2009

Debriefing the Party

Tonight I went to a party. I went to one last night too. Last night I had a lot of fun, tonight I was tired. Apples to Apples was played at both affairs. What differed between these two parties were 1.) The group of people I was with 2.) The type of cheese served (one had Colby, the other Cheddar) and 3.) My perspective on what was going on at the party. Maybe it was because I was tired and feeling more contemplative tonight than I did last night. Maybe I'm still tired from ringing in the New Year until 3AM. Maybe it was the tremendous amount of candy I ate at tonight that perked me up enough to put down "In a Coma" ironically in response to the adjective "Peaceful" during Apples to Apples, but then caused me to fall into a deep state of sugar coma myself (the irony continues). Whatever the cause, I was more aware of weight of the conversations that were going on tonight - the same conversations that I might have brushed off as fluff at another time.

I am always conscious of undertones of God in people's conversations. Since becoming a Christian I find that I pick up on them more just like someone might pick up on the number of yellow cars on the road after purchasing one themselves. Tonight I was especially aware of these undertones at the party as a result of my tired, sugar-comaed, contemplative state. One thing that someone said that especially got me thinking was said by one girl to another in response to the comment "You're all about Jesus though" (not much of an undertone... I know). This girl said it to the other girl jokingly, and the other girl replied with, "No, I'm really not all about Jesus". Anyway, I tell you all this because this girls comment raised a lot of questions in my mind.

First, it got me thinking about all of the times that I have said similar things - maybe not in so many words, but I have brushed off "religious conversations" because I don't want to come off as being well, religious. Then I started thinking about how many other Christians in the world must do the same thing and I began to wonder why. Then it started to hit me - I know what I believe and what I try to stand for - what Jesus stands for - but I deny it often. I don't want to come off as being too religious or committed to my faith, but why!? I have to ask myself who wouldn't want to stand for the things that Jesus stood for. Things like loving your neighbor and forgiving no matter what or feeding the hungry. In my train of thought questions and answers I could not understand why I had pretended not to care about the one thing that matters most to me in my life so many times before. Why I had said not in so many words, "No, I'm really not all about Jesus." There had to be a reason. I think I am starting to understand it.

It's not so much that I don't want to admit that I stand for all of the things that Jesus does, but rather that I don't want to stand for all of the things that people who say that they stand for all of the things Jesus does stand for (Did you follow that? I almost didn't...).

It's more that I don't want people to think that I agree with these ladies:
Or that I own this pin:

What I'm trying to say is that I'm really not all about what people have declared Jesus to be and I don't want people to think otherwise. The real trouble is that unfortunately more bad representations of Jesus get media attention than good. All of the "good stuff" that people are doing in the name of Christ can sometimes barely be heard over the noise of the "bad stuff". So what is the sure sign of a Christian?

The answer: LOVE.

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." -John 13:35

Tonight's party was fun. It challenged my Apples to Apples skills as well as my faith. It has become my personal challenge to love like Jesus loved and to live like Jesus lived so that in the future people will know Christians by their love rather than all of the noise that can get in the way.


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