Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 14, 2010

Mixed Message

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Well, I was at it again!  That is, people watching!  By now you know I engage in that activity when I am in a mall or public place.  There is usually something, or someone, that catches my eye and gives me material for a blog.

It happened!  There was that young man.  He was dressed in black and had a small goatee.  But I was confronted with the shirt he was wearing.  It was black except for a logo on the front.  Within a large white circle there was a cross.  What struck me was the cross had a line across it as you see on a parking sign or such that indicates you are not to park there.  The message from the symbol appeared to strike down the message or reality of the cross of Jesus.

Above that logo were the words, “Bad Religion.”  How do you interpret all that?  I must say I was not sure.  My first mental response was that he was anti-religion, implying Christianity.  I still don’t know if that was the message he intended.

The confusion came as I observed him more.  On his cap was a large cross!  On his arm was a tattooed cross about 10 inches long!  Confused?  You can be sure I was!  I was getting a mixed message.  The cross on the hat and arm was a paradox to the logo and words on the shirt!

I started to approach him and to inquire about the shirt.  I hesitated and moved on.  In a few minutes I encountered him again.  He was selecting a DVD.  The name of the DVD was “Attitude.”  I do not know anything about it, but my thought was, “The title seems to reflect what he is advertising!”

He is probably a fine young man.  I am not judging his character or lifestyle.  It is the mixed message from him that I focus on.  Again, I thought about striking up a conversation with him.  Still, I did not feel comfortable doing so.  I feared he might be seeking just such a confrontation.  And regardless of my spirit, he could cause a scene.  My only motive would have been for an explanation of the paradox in what he was showing through his clothing.

But God used that observation to confront me with a question.  Am I giving mixed messages?  Do I confuse people with my lifestyle?  Do I sometimes express a paradox in what I claim and in what I live?

My walk must match my talk.  My actions must be consistent with my statements. People observe me and I must be clear in who I am and what I believe.  When God changed my life, His expectation of me is to be true to my new nature.  I am mandated to give a sure message that I am a child of God!

“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”  (Ephesians 4:1)  ” . . .  live a life worthy of the Lord . . . .”  (Colossians 1:10)  “Watch your life and doctrine closely.”  (1 Timothy 4:16)  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)



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