One of the many interesting things about working with youths (or being a parent, for that matter) is the pieces of conversations you hear.
Many times it’s just the odds and ends that reach your ears that stop you dead in your tracks.
Like the time I was walking past the doorway and overheard this snatch of conversation, “I’ll show you mine, and you show me yours!”
Now, I’ve got to tell you, that was enough to not only stop me dead in my tracks, but freeze me to listen for what came next (and got me an invite into the conversation, too). I remember thinking something like, “What? Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Wait a minute, I remember this game!”
It turns out they were talking about showing and living their faith. One was being challenged by another to do more than talking (only in church) about her faith. She’d apparently responded to a challenge by saying how impossible it was to actually live (for real) as Jesus’ disciples.
One of the other young people had overheard her participating (OK, instigating) malicious gossip at school. She had fired back that it was basically impossible to live “churchy” in the real world, to which the young man had issued his “I’ll show you mine, and you show me yours” statement that got my attention.
We often see this challenge statement as a little children’s game of discovering themselves and others, but it’s a lifelong thing.
Think about it. Aren’t we more comfortable talking about our faith and acting it out when we know we’re supported by others who are trying to do the same, when we see “theirs” — their faith in Jesus in action?
Jesus said, “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now. Don’t be bullied into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life — body and soul — in his hands. (Matthew 10:26-28)
It’s a human thing, a thing Jesus understood all too well.
So here’s the question, and the challenge: How are we acting ‘like our Master, Jesus’? If He’s indeed our teacher, our master, then we are to be like Him!
We are to “tell it in the light,” not hide it in the dark, perhaps more comfortable places. We are to “not be afraid.”
Jesus calls us to adjust our focus from the here and now to the eternal. He challenges us to make our here and now decisions based on the forever care of our God, who holds us completely in his hands.
Missy (the young lady in the story) had a decision to make. How was she going to repair the damage she’d done by her gossiping, her refusal to ‘be like her teacher, her master? She (after some arguing, tears, and a Christian friend’s commitment to go with her) apologized to the young lady she’d spread malicious gossip about.
Eventually Missy brought her to a youth gathering and together they became leaders in the youth group.
Jesus indeed “showed us His,” and He continues to show us daily. How are we “showing ours” for Him, for God’s glory? We can think about it, talk about it, and/or pray about it, but how are we showing, sharing, and living (yes, from the housetops!) our discipleship to our teacher, our master, Jesus the Christ?
Know it, grow it and show it!