Misrepresenting God…

My husband and I watched the movie, “Blue Like Jazz” last night. I remembered the title from a book that was circling the church we attended years ago – which I never read, but oodles of people did… so I just had to get the movie when I saw it in the Red Box machine.

The movie had a message. It wasn’t one of the better or well-done Christian movies but one of the last scenes of the movie resonated with me and I can not seem to get it out of my mind…..

The Plot: A 19-year-old Christian young man goes away to a college to “escape” the hypocrites that have turned him against the church/God. Everyone has let him down. He spends the school year trying to blend in and does quite well. Although he’s running hard, God pursues him. And in one of the last scenes of the movie, the young man apologizes to one of his closest friends who has mocked God and religion throughout the school year.

The scene struck me in a very personal way.

Maybe because I see myself in it… needing to apologize to those around me.
Maybe because I see my children in it… looking to other Christians that have shamed Christianity by their behavior….and made it difficult for my  children to call themselves a “Christian.”
Maybe because I wonder how much damage I have done as others (especially my family) watch me…

Here’s what he said:

”I’m sorry for misrepresenting God. He isn’t like me.”

Then he goes on to say that God is not afraid (like me), he isn’t coward (like me), he is not a hypocrite (like me), he isn’t like those “Christians” that hurt people in the name of Christ.

And it occurred to me…if…..well,

Let’s face it. We are nothing like God. We wish we were. And that’s why we’re Christians. Because we see that we fall so short. And we see we need His redemption. Then… in trying so hard to be good and godly we “misrepresent” Christ….

Because…

… It’s just a matter of time before we’re selfish, angry, prideful, bitter or jealous. . Our humanity rears its ugly head.

None of those attributes represent God in the least.

And that’s why we need Him. We need His Holy Spirit that can lead us, guide us, enpower us to live more like Him.

You see…

Being a Christian is a poor representation of a good, holy, loving God.

Because we are sooooooo far from all that He is. But we long to be like Him. So we try to live a good life. But fall. And fall again.

Even though we mess up, we don’t stop trying and I suppose that is what makes us look like hypocrites. The back and forth: good/bad, kind/selfish, giving/stingy.

Hopefully as time passes – and on this note, time passes way too slowly – others can see us looking more like Jesus. In our hearts we long to be like Jesus – kind, loving, unselfish, gentle, fair, honest, patient, joyful, peaceful, and disciplined.

Anyway… like the main character in the movie, I feel compelled to ask if you will forgive me… for my stinkin humanity popping up again and again, for my longing to be “Christ like” and falling so short. For letting you down, my children, my husband, my family, and even the aloof cashier I was rude to – who may have had problems beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, to all those watching my Christianity.

I pray that you will see God for who He is. And the few times that I reflect Him.. through me…..

Understanding that I am on a journey – and I will only truly  ”represent well” when I am face to face with Him.

Thanks for reading…would love to know what you think…

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3 thoughts on “Misrepresenting God…

  1. Hi Char, I read this book from the library and read almost the whole book two days. The book is much different from the movie and it doesn’t unfold like the movie does and it doesn’t linger on the campus characters as the movie does. The book is more of the author explaining his life experiences all the while talking to the reader about his fleshly humanness and how God is really able and there to help us if we can really stop listening to our selfishness and see who God is and how all encompassing His live power is. When we let God truly love us the whole and complete way He wants to and always intended to then we can finally love ourselves the way He intended for us to. The right way, the unselfish way. The author does talk about the college and his friends but he doesn’t dwell on them only as a backdrop to explain what he is learning and feeling about religiosity and his humanness and the true essence of God. It is an extremely intelligent and profoundly written book.

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