So my husband Rob tagged me for this meme that’s going around on the book "Unchristian". Gee, thanks, dear. You know just how much time I don’t have. The rules of the thing are to list three negative perceptions about Christians and name one thing that Christians ought to be known for. I started working my way back through the blogs of people who had participated, trying to consider what I wanted to say, and something started to bother me. I wasn’t sure what. It was one of those “something’s niggling on the back burner of my soul” type of things. When my intuition knows what I think but it hasn’t bothered to coalesce into words yet.
I started cutting and pasting. Going through blogs, taking what people had said on the meme, putting it all into one large document where I could look at it all together, even if my stupid dial-up connection decided to spaz out again from having more than three windows up at a time. Started to feel insufficient. A lot of bright and articulate people have replied to this thing. What did I have to add that hadn’t already said? Started to feel annoyed. The constraints of the meme seemed to demand that the answers people gave to the question “What ought Christians be known for?” would be vague, nebulous things. The sort of spiritual aspirations that sound great in as over-arching principles for everyone everywhere, but how do I tell if I’m doing that right now?
Which then gave way to my natural cynicism with the question: “If everyone who blogged in response to this meme had used that same amount of time to practice the things that they were blogging about, what would the results look like? Do we even know?” I saw some phenomenal answers to the last point of the meme, the positive, what Christians ought to be known for: Radical love, living what we believe, shalom, generosity. But how do we get there? How do we change the cultural perception of all Christians, everywhere? The only way possible. One Christian at a time. And that means you. That means me. It means that making sure something happens today in the one life I have any power over—my own.
So this is my response to the meme—I’m reversing it. You’ve all shown me that we know what the church ought to look like. At least, we know how she can look better than she does. So let’s start in on her make-over, beginning with our own lives. Look at the thing that you said that Christians ought to be known for and do something “above and beyond” this week to enact it. Love extravagantly or radically or ridiculously. Be a peacemaker. Work to bring harmony where there is discord. Make a point of donating that time or money to something that you’ve always meant to get around to donating to. Do it with the intentionality of serving Christ and in order to more be the sort of Christian that you want people to think of when they think about what Christians are like. And if you’d like to post about the results on your blogs, I’d love to read about it. By the grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s see how much we can let God do in our lives.
I tag Rob.
Tag whoever tagged you and also whoever you tagged.