"...I am fully alive and flying with faith soaring above the clouds creating what will be from what is not yet and meeting God in me and all around me. I dance with the doubt so I can fly with the faith."
From "Dancing Into Doubt, Flying Into Faith" Diana Wilcox ⓒ 2010

Monday, January 30, 2012

Being Authentic

There is a viral video out now about Jesus and Religion in which a modern day prophet is saying that he loves Jesus but hates religion.  He makes some valid points about the hypocrisy inherent in those who attend church, but fail to live out the gospel of Christ in the world.  However, he generalizes this to all Christians everywhere, and in using the word "hate" is himself walking in hypocrisy.

There is a point to be made here - we cannot call ourselves Christians on Sunday, and the rest of the week not live out the Gospel of Christ.  Coming to church on Sunday is not enough.  What you put out in the world every day should be authentic to who you are, and if you are a follower of Jesus, it means that you must love God, love your neighbor and love yourself.  

We fail to do this when it is not reflected in our words and our actions.  Hopping onto Facebook and using the B, N or F words, invoking God's name or damnation, or posting snarky remarks about others, is not "walking in love as Christ loved us."  All of what we do is a part of what defines us, and that includes what one posts, tweets, or speaks.  I have heard people say that they can use these demeaning terms for women, people of color, and gay people because they are themselves a member of that group.  That is not acceptable!  Words have meaning, and these terms are ones that have for generations been used to harm, demean, and marginalize. Using them is not showing love for self or neighbor, and certainly not for God.

God is asking us to be prophets in the world, and to do this, we must be authentic to who we are called to be as followers of Christ.  Every word we say, every action we take, must be modeled on loving God, neighbor and self.  This is not to say that we don't make mistakes, that we don't harm another unintentionally.  We are humans, and we will do this.  But we must strive each day to remember that we have a responsibility to love and care for all of God's creation, so that all my fully live into who they are as children of God.  When we do this, we become the authentic prophets God calls us to be, and videos like the one described above will be a thing of the past.

So this week, think before you speak or post, and pray before you act.  Live each day doing and being your best, because you and the world will be better for it.

Chaplain Diana