A close friend recently told me that they were unhappy with Lipscomb University for a number of reasons and intended to transfer. This is not uncommon for college freshman who arrived at a school with high expectations. Homesickness, grades, costs, and other factors often lead to a change of plans. Among several reasons this person listed was their disappointment with the spiritual aspect of the school. This person found that some students and Christians in general seemed to be the “Church on Sunday, Cursing on Monday” type of people, essentially leading double lives.
Sadly, this was not the first time I have been informed of such an issue. My friend brings up an interesting point about a larger problem: Too many individuals talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. Saying you will do something is entirely different from actually following through. Some Christians put on a facade hoping that no one sees past their act. Going through the motions of attending church and participating in various activities is used so that one appears a certain way, when reality tells a different narrative.
I think many of us have been guilty of this, myself included. Matthew 5:14-16 reminds us that:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
There is no doubt that I have failed to be a light in the world on numerous occasions. I have been self-centered and self-righteousness more than once, maybe even to the extent of hypocrisy. The problem lies in the fact that I have acted this way without realizing it. It is extremely easy to get caught up in yourself and lose sight of the larger picture.
For my friends in Nashville, you’re all well aware that our world nearly came crashing down on Friday. The Snowpocalypse just about ended us all, but thankfully our lives were spared. Not only that, but as of Sunday, it appears that the roads are improving and that life actually will go on as previously scheduled. Imagine that! Those that stocked up on milk and bread are slowly coming to the realization that they severely over judged the amount of staple foods needed to get through this horrid disaster, and that maybe, just maybe, they will not make the same mistake again. But it’s Middle TN after all, so Kroger and Publix will inevitably reap the benefits next time any amount of snow is predicted.
All of that to say Nashville handled the snow reasonably well. Good Samaritans came out the word works and people lent a hand in any way needed. I made the slippery walk to the Student Activity Center to get a morning workout in on Saturday. I passed a man shoveling snow and he appeared to be exhausted from a long morning of work. As I looked around campus, dozens of people were pitching in. I nodded my head to the man and kept walking. I began to work out, but guilt soon hit me like a brick wall. Everything I have been taught has told me to help when needed and to put the needs of others in front of my own. Yet there I was, being selfish with my time yet again. I re-racked the weights, put on my coat, and walked out. It was time to go shovel some snow.
As Christians, we set the bar higher. I know I need to be a better example as a disciple of Christ. Your faith should not be used for self-promotion or to create a false sense of reality. It’s not just something you talk about, you have to be about it in everything that you do. Matthew puts it this way in Chapter 16, Verse 25:
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
God comes first, we come second. This is much easier said than done. But to hear a friend be essentially turned away from the church due to our hypocritical nature is sickening. Even more so, it serves as a wake-up call for me. It’s time to stop telling the way, and to start showing it. Words may speak loud, but actions show you really mean what you say.
Thanks for reading let me know what you think! I’ll be switching gears for the next post, which will be about how and why Nashville has risen to the top of the “It-City” list.