“Do as I say, not as I do”.
We’ve all heard that statement before, but its familiarity doesn’t make it ok. In fact, in our generation it actually won’t be accepted at all. It shouts of something bigger than just a mixed message. It shouts hypocrisy, a lack of authenticity. So therefore, us twenty-somethings have no respect for it, not time for it.
We are looking for the authentic. We are looking for people who are real. The same real at a 9am lecture or an 11pm party. The same person on a Sunday in church as a Monday night in the Student’s Union. The same character with housemates or course mates. We want to know that who you say you are is true. We want to be able to see the different dots that make up your life, and when we connect them, find a consistent, joined-up picture.
So, if you say you follow Jesus, we want to see that lived consistently, no matter where you are and what you’re busy with. We want see what being a Christian means on the sports field, in exam period, with your family, and when you’re just hanging out in the house. Our generation connects up the dots between Facebook, Twitter, what we see being said boldly over social media, and what comes out our mouths when we’re face to face. We connect up the dots between being told that loving God and so loving others is the most important thing in the world, and then hearing you bad-mouth your housemate when she leaves the kitchen in a mess. We connect up the dots between you following a God who says He alone can bring life in all its fullness, and then watching you fill your life with shots on student night, or a series of relationships so that you don’t have to face sleeping alone.
In 1 John, the author states it really simply for us: ‘Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.’
Jesus basically says “do as I say, just as I do”. When you connect up the dots of your life, do they match-up to make a consistent picture? Are you saying one thing but doing another? Personally, I can only live a life where the dots are connected because of God. I have to ask him to help me keep real, authentic and true to my faith, even in the tricky contexts.
Sometimes, the best place to start when we realise that our dots of life don’t make a true, consistent picture of God’s awesomeness, is to just be honest and admit it. So, right now I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry that I am not always consistent in living out the love of God. I’m sorry to the friends who will read this who I have let down. It’s not a God-thing, it’s a me-thing, and I pray I do better.
Because I want the dots of my life to all connect up into a picture of God that’ll blow your mind.