By: Steve Holt Sr.
Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark 8:30)
Evidently, bunches of people haven’t gotten the memo. Jesus said not to tell anyone about him. And yet, every day on Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social media sites, there it is…a scripture, a prayer, praise to God, thanks to Jesus and more.
I don’t know about God, but I, for one, am pretty tired of it.
Don’t get me wrong; I love God. I believe Jesus is his only son. I believe in the inspiration of scripture and most of the rest. But all this talk about God and all this pious language are starting to get to me.
What if we all just shut up? What if we all just let our works speak for us? What if we did such amazing, stupendous things for God every day that people were compelled to ask? What if every day, we lived in such a way that people knew exactly why we are the way we are? And Whose we are!
I think that’s what Jesus had in mind when he told all those people back in the book of Mark to shut up about him. I think he was saying, “Just let my actions speak for me. Le the people see what I do and then make up their minds about me. You Jesus-talkers will just mess it up!” And boy, have we!
Face it; from the poll numbers, it seems there are lots and lots of folks on earth who are like me—they’re tired of all this God-talk. In fact, in many places on this planet, his name is not welcomed at all. In some places, speaking his name is against the law—doing so will get you killed or worse.
So, in those places and everywhere else on earth, what if believers just did the work of God without using the name of God or, for that fact, any of what’s-His-name’s words?
I think if we knew we couldn’t use his name or his words, we would actually become more diligent about how we acted. Our love for him has to emerge in some way, right? So instead of it coming out in language, let it come out in actions…good deeds…sacrificial loving…random acts of kindness… genuine expressions of love. For example, rather than verbally praising God, what if we directed our praise toward a neighbor. Or teacher. Or cop. Or enemy! The next time we’re tempted to use a scripture on someone, let’s do what Jesus did: praise, encourage, teach (appropriately), commend, guide, defend.
Actually, I think that’s the way God intended it all along. My own personal theory is that God probably never intended his words to be written down and idolized in the first place. I think he meant for them to be handed down from generation to generation and internalized, coming out in action, not just more words.
So, please! Shut up about your Jesus, will you?
Start acting like him.