The Ins and Outs of Us: An Audience of One
What is my purpose? It’s easy for me to describe what I do and the influences that have shaped me. But finding purpose, continually assessing and refining it over time, is a completely different and more difficult question. After listening to Sunday’s message, this is the question that I asked myself.
It's easy for me to understand that as a Christian, I’m expected to be a disciple of Christ. It’s defined for us in Matthew 28:19-20. At Hope Church, we define it as “Being in the process of conforming to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” I absolutely love that. But, what exactly does that mean and how does that relate to purpose? Jeff references the Book of Acts: 3–4 and shares the story of the disciples being out in the world. Seems pretty appropriate. We see Peter and John come upon a man who was lame, sitting before a gate in Jerusalem and begging for money. They have no money to give, but offer their time and their prayers for his healing. They did not do this for their own egos or reputations. They did it so that God could be glorified, so that the light they brought into the world that day could point to God.
It sounds so easy. I wish it was that simple for me. Jeff made a statement that really stood out to me. He said: “When we allow the sensibilities that are outside of our faith to influence our decisions, we get into trouble every single time. Are we more interested in our institutions and reputations?” There are so many influences that we deal with on a day to day basis. We have our friends, careers, families, television and social media outlets constantly in our faces. For me, this makes it difficult to navigate these waters. In a society that seems to base everything off of accomplishments, how will we define our accomplishments as Christians?
Toby Mac’s band DC Talk wrote a song during the 1990’s in which the lyrics asked:
Is this one for the people?
Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford.
I can jumble them together;
My conflict still remains:
Holiness is calling in the midst of courting fame.
I find those lyrics fascinating and appreciate the struggle that is detailed within them.
As I go into this week I’m looking to continue to define my purpose as a follower of Jesus. Perhaps it’s to bring more kindness into this world or to help people know they matter and that, more importantly, they matter to God. To really make decisions for an audience of one. I will leave you with a question Jeff asked: “How do we take our faith out into the world?”
Many blessings to you!