Wednesday, 02 February 2011
Sometimes the J word can be a little embarrassing to say. You know what I'm talking about. I'm vainly assuming you, too, have this picture of how people think Christians will act, and I rebel against it as hard as possible. The thing is, it's not their picture; it's mine. I assume they will expect me to bang on and on about Jesus and Church, so I try to surprise them -- and it's a risky game I play.
Let me give you an example. When I knew I was leaving my last job to work for the church, it prompted many discussions with people. Some, surprised that I even went to church, were intrigued. They'd say things like 'I didn't know you were religious!' I'd frown and attempt to explain that I was not religious, that Jesus spoke out against religion a heck of a lot, and that I just tried to do what the Bible said. Most people would then just repeat that they didn't know that I was religious.
It seemed that they would rather keep me in the comfortable category of religious than make a new one for this troublesome little God botherer. Or maybe I am again assuming that when they say I'm religious what they are actually saying is that they expect me to put on some tin foil armor, mount a horse and start a second but more brutally effective crusade. Whatever the reason, I assume that they think religion is bad, so I try to avoid being labeled it.
But what's worse than this stupid game I play, where I am the only one aware a game is being played, is my reluctance to talk about Jesus. I'll say everything but. They'll ask what my job entails or make a comment about how church is out of touch and I will say 'Yes, but church services are only tradition, they are only man made attempts to understand God. I'm not so bothered about that stuff, oh I enjoy it as much as the next Christian, but for me it's more about the way you live and the morals you adhere to.' Oh really? Please do go on, please tell us where you get this code oh font of all wisdom. And that's when I should be busting out Jesus. Except I rarely do. Or I rarely did as the newsagent found out yesterday. Betcha didn't see that coming when I walked in for my bottle of Pepsi and galaxy bubbles did you?
I excused this behavior by convincing myself that I was making them think, that they would be touched by my radical decision to give up career for God, except the only way they could follow this up is through me. In leaving out Jesus, I have made myself the savior. If only I had said that I was just trying to live like Jesus. Even that extra sentence would have made the world of difference. After all, that one name has already done just that.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable saying the name of Jesus? Have you tried to be a Christian example without Christ? Does it work?