“I just like the symbol”

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, Stories

I had a couple of days off this week, so I had a chance to work on the growing list of “honey-dos” for my honey. I don’t think I will ever finish that list! On one of my many trips to the local hardware store to pick up “just one more” key ingredient, I eyed the new employee sitting on a chair near the front of the store. It was near closing time, so he appeared to be enduring his last few minutes on the clock. He sported a brand-new Yankees baseball cap. Thinking that he needed a little conversation, I startled him, “You do know that there are two kinds of baseball fans?” I know I startled him, because he honked out, “Huh?” After repeating my question and answering it with, “There are Yankees fans and Yankee-haters,” he chimed out, “Oh, I don’t like the Yankees. I just like the symbol.”

As I returned to my truck, his words still percolated in my mind. I wondered how many people wear the cross because they like the symbol but don’t love the Savior. I wondered how many say they believe the Bible but never take the time to read it or live it. I wondered how many people only give lip service to living for Jesus Christ. I even wondered how many people will celebrate Christmas and offer no acknowledgement of what the gift of salvation really means. Christmas comes with all kinds of symbols – decorated trees, lights, tinsel, gifts, and nativity scenes to name a few. Could it be said of you, “Oh, I don’t Christ. I just like Christmas” or “Oh, I don’t like Christ, but I’m sure going to celebrate Christmas”? Christmas loses its significance without a connection to the Savior.

I fear that many people simply try to add Christ to their lives. However, that’s not really possible. You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided – kind of like a committee sitting in our hearts. Our multi-divided hearts include the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. We live with a constant struggle within our hearts. Adding Jesus only makes life more complicated and conflicted.

What an authentic follower of Jesus Christ does when he or she surrenders to Christ is to declare the committee void and give the Lord absolute authority in life. That’s what we must do – every one of us. Otherwise, we’re just wearing the “team apparel” of Christianity because we really don’t love Christ.

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