Recently, I talked with a journalism student here at my university. He had a habit of writing worthy critiques of school policies, but doing so a controversial way. Ultimately, he pushed too hard and was no longer allowed to write on the school paper for the rest of the semester. In one instance, he decided to denegrate into the name-calling of a senior school official on his personal blog. He seemed satisfied to hear fellow students congratulate him on his bravery in standing up to the school.
But having been in his shoes, being a somewhat controversial columnist for the school paper, and now being on the other side of the fence, I told him that in order to inact real change and see the proposals and ideas he suggested acted on he must learn how to write a critique where the issues take center stage.
It is easy for us to get so concerned with “winning” that we force our message behind us. “Me” overwhelms and while we may get congratulated for “speaking truth,” the ideas that we claim to care so deeply about are lost in the haze of our glory.
This is of particular concern to me when dealing with my faith. Christianity is so all-encompassing to me that I want everyone to understand and grasp the significance of it. I often enter into discussion both here and elsewhere, detailing why my faith is correctly grounded. My passion is to see others come to acknowledge the truth of who Jesus is.
However, often in my attempts to promote Jesus I am like the sleezy agent working my client in order to advance my own agenda – myself. Most often I being with good intentions to illustrate why Christianity is true and why it alone can be trusted as a logical, cohesive worldview.
Despite those initial positive thoughts, eventually, when challenged, I decide to takeover. “Watch out, Jesus, this may get ugly. I have to defend your honor.” I go headlong into showing the ignorant heathen why they should accept what I am saying. The Word of God is a two-edge sword that cuts both ways, but my words usually only have one edge – to cut my opponent.
I religate the man who left all of those who questioned him speachless to a supporting role, if that. “Sure Jesus, you were able to captizate thousands of figidty people on a Middle Eastern hillside, but I have a blog. Yes, that was a nice trick with the whole ‘render unto Caesar’ thing, but let me show you how to win a debate.”
Unfortunately, while I may have won numerous debates (in my own mind), I have won relatively few to Christ. My discussions usually center on me proving that I am right, instead of me pointing to someone I know is right. Instead of being a Christian conservative, I become a Conservative christian. I place the emphasis on my politics and policies, my thoughts and objections, my passions and my self – anything but my Savior.
I wonder how often I discuss issue as Jesus did. Unfortunately, I do it exactly like He did too often. By that I mean, I always end up making it all about me. While it is perfectly acceptable for the sinless Son of God to do that, it is not such a great thing for a sinful person like me to draw attention to myself.
Recenlty, I have been reevaluating who Jesus is and who I make Him out to be. I have had to apologize to my youth group and ask them for their forgiveness for not ministering to them as Jesus would have me. I have had to change how I treat my wife and my sons. Instead of being a servant leader, I expect them to serve the leader. I also have to evaluate how I write and how I interact here and throughout the blogosphere. Am I out there promoting me, my blogs and my thoughts or I am more concerned with Jesus?
It all comes down to what is more important – me or the message. I hope when you read not just this post, but every post I write, you understand and recognize that the most important thing to me is the person of Jesus Christ. The message must outshine me.