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Accessorizing Christianity

27 May

5-28-13 Accessorizing Christianity

When did this happen?

Wristbands.  Tons of them.  Five or six of them.

My son Caleb’s wrist.

Let me repeat: When did this happen?

I don’t remember wearing all those types of things.  In fact, my wife Evelyn has had a hard time just getting me to wear a watch.  Ask her, and you can have a nice discussion about it.

After my kids got out of the pool at grandpa’s house, I was cleaning stuff up and realized how many different accessories I had to pick up.

Then, last night, I noticed something else.

5-28-13 #2 Accessorizing Christianity

Caleb has a bunk bed all to himself.  Sometimes he sleeps on the top.  Sometimes on the bottom.  Last night, he was on the top.  Apparently, he turned the bottom bunk bed into his personal accessory space, laying out perfectly all of his stuff for the next day.

If only he took care of the rest of his stuff that well!

Now, you read the title of my post and are probably thinking…

“I’ve got it!  Look right there in the second picture, there’s a cross also! It wasn’t in the first picture.  I’m an amazing detective.  I learned as a kid from all of those pictures in kid’s books where you had to compare two pictures and notice what was different.  I am highly skilled at this.  And, I also know that Jeff is going to say something about how we put on Christian themed accessories without really living the message that those accessories communicate!”

Great thoughts.  You’re a genius.  And, that is a good point.*

But, it’s not the point of this post.  Feel free to steal the idea that was inspired by my pictures and write your own post about it.  (/sarcasm)

Here was my thought.  The more accessories you have, the longer it takes to get ready.  It takes time to go through each one, putting each one on one at a time, then taking them off later in the day.

These accessories are nice.  They might have value.  But, they’re not essential.

They slow you down.  They become an unnecessary burden.

This is what I have noticed in my own life.  And, in the lives of others.

It becomes so easy to accessorize Christianity.  To add things on.  To add layer after layer of elements and eventually turn it into something it was never meant to be.

We do this in many ways:

We think that worship must be done with a certain music style.

We put models and methods into our churches that obscure the essence of Christianity.

We focus on outward appearance more than the soul.

We wait for our pastors/leaders/mentors to tell us what to do instead of going straight to Jesus and his word.

We try to make our churches look “cooler” so that they can be more popular.

And these are just a few.

Worship style is good.  Models and methods can be helpful.  A good outward appearance is necessary.  Pastors, leaders, and mentors are indispensable.  “Cool” can be good at times.

The point is not that any of these things are bad.

The problem is that sometimes they weigh us down and cause for true Christianity to get obscured.

Why don’t we make a commitment to getting rid of anything that makes it harder for us to connect with Jesus and to connect Jesus to others.  And, at the same time, choose only to use those things that accomplish the same goal.

Check this out.  Hebrews 12:1-2a says,

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

“weight that slows us down”

“sin that so easily trips us up”

What weights and sins do you need to release?  Remember, some weights are not sins, but they still slow us down!

Let’s run freely!

*By the way, I did have a discussion with Caleb about wearing the cross because he knows what it means, instead of simply wearing it because it looks “cool”.

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