I’ve been thinking about my priorities and the paths that I am going to choose to follow. And I’ve been wondering:
Can I be too “on fire” for Christ? Can I be too Christian?
Of course, the world would answer with a resounding, “Yes! Shut up already!”
But I’ve been really bothered lately by certain comments from other Christians indicating that being an overly public Christian is “annoying” and that we should hold back our passion for Christ.
Should we? Should we be concerned that we are too in love with Christ and too eager to give Him the glory?
Nah uh. I don’t buy it one bit.
Take Tim Tebow for instance. I don’t know the guy, I don’t follow his career or his life, I’ve hardly heard him speak. I hesitate to even mention him because the whole phenomenon is out of control. Please don’t mistake this reference as me giving him any kind of undue credit or acting like I know him. All I know is what I hear from other people, the media, his supporters who put his name on T-shirts, (which to me is just absurd…don’t worship the messenger!). All I hear is that he is obsessed with Jesus, always talking about Him, always witnessing, always praying. I mean, he was spoofed on SNL about it for goodness sake.
I can’t speak for God, but, I don’t think He ever gets sick of Tebow talking about Him, unabashedly praising Him, giving Him the glory.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Can our motives be wrong? Yes! Only God knows where our heart is when we praise Him. Can we be big fat hypocrites, praising Him one minute and sinning openly the next? Yes, unfortunately. Can we drive people away because we are trying to witness to them all the time? Probably, and that’s not really what I’m talking about here. The Bible says we can let our light shine and witness to unbelievers through the way we live and the way we love. Can we be poor examples for unbelievers because we are trying to put on a show? Yup. There are all kinds of reasons our hearts could be examined and found in the wrong place. We shouldn’t be looking to put on some kind of display for attention.
Jesus knew this kind of behavior:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.
But should we hold back from sincerely loving and praising God because we are worried about what people might think? Heck no.
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
God wants our praise, He wants the glory, He wants our unrequited love. Let’s give it to Him and stop worrying about what people think. And if we prefer to give God praise privately in our own way, that’s okay too. It is between us and God.
“What will people think when they hear that I’m a Jesus freak?!”
If I lose friends because I mention Jesus every other sentence than so be it. In fact, I want to be there. I don’t want to hold back.
I used to feel differently. I used to be aware that though I loved God and people knew I was a Christian, I wanted to identify first and foremost as something else. I wanted to be a writer, a poet, a book-lover, smart, witty, a hard worker, a nice person, or something else, who just happened to be Christian. Heaven forbid people think of me as the “Christian girl.”
I wasn’t ashamed per se…but isn’t that basically the same thing?
Now, everything is different, and once again, God deserves all the praise for changing my heart. I don’t want to identify as anything else but a follower of Christ, daughter of God, devoted to Him alone. I am a work in progress and it’s a huge challenge for me – naturally shy and overanalytical- to shed my concern for what people might think of me. But I’ll get there and I can’t wait.
The late coach John Wooden said:
“If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.”
If I do what Jesus commands and I love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind and all my strength, He should be my everything, all the time, no matter who’s watching.
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
And forget not all His goodness!
My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.
Lord of all the earth we shout Your name, shout Your name,
Filling up the skies with endless praise, endless praise,
We love to shout Your name, O Lord!
There is no one like our God, we will praise You, praise You!
Jesus You are God, we will sing!