Tag Archives: Grace

Persona and Platform in Perspective

I’ve had a few things come up recently that got me thinking. One was an interview of a guy, who had a popular show that I personally didn’t care for. In the interview I discovered that this guy has a tremendous Spirit filled relationship with Jesus. Instantly I became more interested in the show. Another was a TED talk from a guy who has a very different belief system than I do. He started his talk stating some parts of his belief system and how it pertained to his talk. I was very interested in his talk and it was very insightful. But I was tempted to dismiss what he had to say because of his first stated beliefs. Holy Spirit urged me not to dismiss or devalue what he had to say simply for believing differently. I observed these two instances in the midst of the @socalitybarbie increase of popularity. Authenticity and real community have quickly become the height of most conversations, and very much a part of my internal conversation. I viewed my interaction with these two guys in a very unique way.

In our nature we have the proclivity to judge people in one of two ways. We either judge them by their performance or persona, by the image they put out there. The other way we judge is by their beliefs. A persons performance is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply may be the image that the character they are playing has. Someone my host a show as a character and be a totally different person in reality. We see actors do it all the time, they play the role of the protagonist and we don’t hold it against them. The second is a bit more dangerous. We know their belief system and we judge everything they do or say through that lens. Whether or not what they have to say has value, we blow it off because what they believe goes against our beliefs. We let what we disagree with become the thing that comes between what we do agree on. As a follower of Christ, I believe certain things are sin that a non believer will not count as sin. Until they become a follower as well, I cannot hold them the standard I hold myself to. Are they still in sin, yes. Are they acting against their beliefs, no. My job is not to point out how bad their sin is, it is be kind and lead them to the Christ I follow. When someone begins to act against their belief, that is when we can call people out. Jesus didn’t go through a casino and turn over the tables, He went into the church where they were using religion to steal money. Stealing is wrong in both places, but one is structured around taking people’s money. Until the casino believes that taking people’s money is wrong it will continue to take it. Let’s be honest though, if a casino gets your money it’s your own fault. We’re getting into legal vs. moral issues now. The reverse is also true. Someone may present something we wholeheartedly believe in, but at the core you have very different beliefs. My warning is to not let the fact that someone is presenting a single mutual ideal lead you to believe that you are kinsmen. See people in their wholeness and their hurt. The masks that people hide behind are only a reflection of their pain. Whether you believe the same thing or not, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying each others company. Live by your convictions and lead your friends to Christ through your love for them.

This is where @socalitybarbie comes in. Her account is based on the following. Instagammers are posting photos that are or seem to be staged with tags such as #liveauthentic or #adventure. Her frustration, some of these grams are not authentic and staged. Her solution, call out the inauthentic by making fun of it and being exaggeratedly inauthentic. She now has the popularity of all the accounts she makes fun of thru this exaggerated inauthenticity. I ask this of @socalitybarbie, to steward her influence well. She is now heard, and what she has to say can either keep people in check or simply become inauthentic. She must remember her beliefs and why she started. She got me thinking about the point of all the social platforms. It reminded what exactly they are, social platforms. In the same way someone can have their own show or share a TED talk, social media is your platform to share your beliefs and your persona. The original intent of social media was to keep people connected, but is has become so much more than that. My human brain can only keep a handful of healthy relationship before some begin to fall off. No computer program can help me with that. No matter how much of someone’s status I see, our relationship is my responsibility. Relationships are maintained through communication not status updates. Social platforms really have very little to do with real relationships. They are the platform for which people watch their friend’s personas. If you stage a photo, this doesn’t mean your whole life is staged. This is the way you choose to use your platform. If you don’t share all your darkest moments, this doesn’t mean all your days have to be primrose and daisies. The greater your platform the more cherished your privacy. You’re not going to tell the world what you tell your closest friends. That comes against the intimacy needed for healthy relationships. Don’t let the fear of being inauthentic keep you from expression. Don’t live life through your platform, live life through real relationships. Use your platform to share what you love. Whether that’s pictures of your kids or of your Kinfolk magazine. Remember this, everything you do sends a message whether you share it or not. If you have 100 or 100k, people are listening to you. Jesus only sought to influence 12 men, yet He changed the world.

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Love the Adventure

So you want to go out and change the world? Have you changed the place you’re leaving? We want to go on great adventures and make an impact on the people we come in contact with. We want to give prophetic words and heal people. But have you loved? Can those you’re in touch with now say they’ve been loved by you? We think healing and prophesy is hard when it’s not. When you love, those come easy. It’s loving that is hard. To love someone is to give yourself to that person. To love God is to give your life up to Him, and to love another is to give what He has given you. We love only because He first loved us. We expect there to be a change when we leave one place for another. But unless we are first changed we are never really leave a place. And places where you experienced change never really leave you. Two things that travel with you, your pain and your love. The key is to choose what to do with them. We have to carry one and face the other. The one we face causes us to carry the other. What you carry is what you offer. Until we carry Love we cannot face the pain of others. Are you offering them pain or Love? When we face our pain, Love is placed upon us. When we carry our pain, Love gets in our face. Love will not let you carry your pain, for Love desires to be carried. Every place you go, Love wants to go with you. Until you come face to face with your pain, no matter where you go you will experience it there. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love goes with you where you carry your pain. Staring you in the face not with shame or guilt, but with the desire to see your pain healed. Love wants to see your pain, and turn it into compassion. Where you’ve experienced healing, take it to the hurting. Dive into the adventure that is Love. Adventure is all around, not just around the globe. Don’t miss out on the adventure of who is in front of you. The where of adventure will always be there, but the who of adventure may not be. See the sights, but neglect to give sight to the blind. Desire to prophesy, but first love. Change the world one heart at a time.

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Let There Be Light

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5 NLT)

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. (John 1:4 NLT)

Let there be light, why do we run from that? Light is good, yet we still want to hide. We want everyone to see our great accomplishment and keep our struggles in the dark. We want to show how great we are and our downfalls a secret. When we do this we minimize the greatness of God, we limit what Grace can cover. For Grace cannot cover what is not exposed. We want to walk with our credibility of being highly involved in the church. But we are in the dark at home! Your involvement at the church will matter very little when you face judgment, without exposure to Grace it is all excrement. To be truly exposed to Grace is to begin the process of change. You will begin to walk with integrity, and those around you will notice. When you are exposed to the sun the tone of you skin changes, the same is true with exposure to the Light (warning christian pun) or the Son. You will begin to have a spiritual tan, for lack of a better term. Lets face it, generally speaking people want the tan skin. The same is true in our lives, an exposed person with a changed tone more attractive than a hidden faker. We weren’t created to be covered by anything other than Grace. We were created to be naked and in communion with God. When people see someone who is flawed, but walking confidence of who they are, that is when they attracted to what you have. Christians will say, “I don’t want to be seen, but God thru me.” Well, that does no good! When you look at an invisible person you see nothing, not the God that’s in them. Rather than God doing such a work in me that I disappear, I want a complete exposure and covering of Grace. So when people look at me, they see the burqa of Grace that I’m covered in before they see me.

Here is where we must be careful. We cannot simply hide our sin under Grace. Grace is not meant to hide behind, but be exposed too. In Grace you are no longer who you used to be. The sinner that you’ve exposed is dead. Grace is not a simple covering, it is a renewal. A resurrection of a new man. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:10-14 ESV) Anytime come out from Grace we are trying to resurrect a dead man. Which we don’t have the power to do, so we are simply putting puppet stings on a corpse. We are going back into the grave, into darkness. Let your old man die and let the power of Grace resurrect your new man. Many of us fall into temptation because we won’t let the old die. We have exited darkness, and the enemy cannot dwell in the light. As far as he is concerned, when we go into the light we are dead. There is no longer power given the enemy. When we give into the flesh, we are poking our head into darkness and letting the enemy know we’re still alive to sin. Get into the light, be exposed. To live a life of purity we have to be transparent. Exposing ourselves to those we love and trust, those that know the worst about you have your best at heart. We must emit light to those that are broken. When we live a life of transparency it is clear the message we are sending, and easier for those that love us to correct us when we are wrong. Transparency makes it easier to remove obscurities that are keeping us from purity. When we are pure we can clearly express Christ. Whether we live pure or impure lives is what we pass on to our families. Not only to our children, but to those we lead. The battles we leave un-fought are left for those that come after us.

 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:18-21 NLT)

When Moses came down from being in the presence of God, the people of Israel could not handle what shone from his face. They had him put a veil over his face to diffuse the glory shinning from it. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:13-18 NLT) If we expose ourselves to the light we will know the glory of God. The evidence of our exposure should be reflected in our countenance. When Moses was exposed to the glory of God he had to wear a veil. Christ has lifted that veil for us, so people will know that we have been exposed. God wants us to show His glory. So often we try to use the veil to hide our sin, but God wants that veil to be lifted so we can be exposed to the light. The very veil we use to hide our sin is the veil that keeps us from the light. There is only darkness behind this veil. When we stay behind the veil, the supposed glory that we are experiencing is useless. A light kept to yourself will only shine on you and your flaws. When that same light shines on you and then from you is when the true glory of God is revealed. Letting the world see, “Yes I’m flawed. But I still shine!”

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

The Word says that one day we will all be exposed to the light and all our work will be tested.(1 Cor. 3:12) Exposure without covering will cause a burn, exposure with covering will bring healing. Whatever is not covered by Grace is going to be burned. We must not misunderstand the intense power of the light. If not for Grace we would all be burned up by it, because of Grace our exposure brings great healing and freedom. All our dull parts and made shiny, so that when His light shine on us His glory is reflected that much more. What if others see the real me, my sin and scars? Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it. (John 1:5 NLT) So long as we let Christ shine on our darkness the accusations of others cannot extinguish us. Let the His light expose the opinions of others and let them be burned away. Let His truth be what shines brightest in your eyes.

For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. (Mark 4:22 NLT)

Ps. 139:11-12
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light to become night-but even in the darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

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