Lately I’ve realized the people who have had the greatest influence on my life have been those who let Jesus shine through them rather than religion (or a cause) paint over them.
Often, when trying on an identity, we paint ourselves over with a cause, even the cause of Christ. Sometimes when I meet a person who is a walking talking press release for Jesus, everything in me wants to get away. There’s just something unnatural about the interaction. It’s like Jesus is their political candidate or a product and they are trying to sell Him.
And yet the people I find most inspiring are very close to this, but the difference couldn’t be more stark. Instead of becoming a sandwich board for a cause, these people become MORE themselves. Their relationship with Jesus has set them free. They aren’t selling Him at all, they’re just crazy about Him and the life He’s given them.
To me, the difference is between shining or broadcasting. I can either let Jesus shine through me (revealing himself in my personality the way a spouse might reveal their spouse in their joy and contentment) or I can let religion paint a sign on me. I don’t want to be painted on, to be honest.
It all sounds very judgmental, so forgive me. The truth is I’ve spent time in both camps, being both people. For me, the latter is a more sustainable and authentic way to live. If Jesus is, in fact, a person, I really don’t have to sell Him. I can just enjoy our relationship and invite other people to interact with Him. I don’t have to sell him like a pill or a toothpaste.
Do you see Jesus as a cause, a movement, a worldview or as an actual Deity?