Air Jordans are iconic. I didn’t wear them much growing up though, because my parents refused to buy me ridiculously expensive shoes. I didn’t like it, but I knew I would never get my hands on a pair. So I was forced to cope – by pretending they didn’t exist. It was a long couple of years trying to convince myself that Reebok cross trainers were stylish. But as I got older, I realized Jordans were hard to ignore. All of my friends had a pair or two, and one of my friends was downright obsessed with them.
When a new style came out, he wouldn’t just stop by the local Foot Locker when he had some free time; he built his life around getting that new pair. He made sure he knew all the Jordan release dates, he would buy the same shoes in different colors, and he would often spend Saturday mornings camped out in front of shoe stores. It blew my mind. So finally I had to ask myself, “What is so special about these shoes?! Clearly I’m missing out on something.”
My friend’s obsession with Jordans made a statement. Whether true or not, he was saying loud and clear that these shoes were worth rearranging your life for. What kind of statement does your life make?
What Are You Saying?
In my last post, I argued that we should use our words to boast in God instead of ourselves. And I went even further, saying that God made us for that very reason. But I don’t think our bragging should be limited to our words. Not only should we brag on the Lord with our lips, we should also brag on Him with our lives.
Everything you do makes a statement about God. Every meal you eat, every test you take, every hour you work says something about your Creator. So even if you choose to keep your mouth closed about Him, your lifestyle will still have plenty to say. The question is: what are you saying?
Good Works for a Good God
In His most famous sermon, Jesus says this: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Jesus tells his listeners to live bright lives, full of good works before others. But you notice he doesn’t say, “so that people will see how amazing Christians are.” The goal isn’t our glory, but that others would “give glory to [our] Father who is in Heaven.” Our good works always point to our good God.
Think about it. What does it say about God if we’re selfish people who treat others like trash? What does that communicate to onlookers? Not only does it say that God’s creation is worthless, but it also communicates that we’re the center of the universe. Neither of those things is true, and we’re basically lying about God to others.
But what if instead, we were strikingly selfless and laid our lives down for our neighbors? What if we gave generously to help meet the needs of others? What kind of statement does that make about God? It communicates that we’re not the center of the Universe and that there’s something grand to live our lives for. It shows God’s creation is to be cherished, and that we want to love others as we’ve been loved by Him.
Every decision you make is an opportunity to be a mirror, reflecting the goodness of your Maker. Each second is an chance to be a monitor, showcasing snapshots of His glory. And when those around us catch glimpses of that goodness, we get to tell them that our light is only a dim reflection of His.
The truth is, bragging with our lives and our lips goes hand in hand. If we only brag with our lives, people may assume we’re just nice people. They won’t know who compels us to live such good lives. And if our words say God is amazing, but our lives say otherwise, our claims lose credibility. We must do both.
Make It Clear
Does your life say great things about God? Your clever bumper sticker and Christian tattoo aren’t enough. What does your checkbook say? What do your interactions with others say? What does your work ethic say? I know I have to repent daily of failing to brag on Him as I should. God is supreme above all, so when I live in a way that makes Him look small I’m living a lie.
Is there anything in the Universe more valuable than casual sex, or a job promotion, or a pair of Jordans? Of course there is. Make sure your life makes that clear. It may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry – you were built for it.