Back when I was in 5th or 6th grade the girls got pulled out of class to watch a movie called “It’s Fun Being a Woman,” or something like that. It’s a change-of-life movie about beginning menstruation. Oops. Should I have had a disclaimer for all of you eating breakfast? Sorry. It’s okay because this post isn’t about that movie – although I’m still trying to understand why that makes it fun to be a woman!
What we should consider making is a change-of-life movie about how fun it is to be a Christian. Seriously, we should make ourselves a movie to show the world how much fun we have.
Oh I see. It would be too boring, wouldn’t it?
There wouldn’t be any murder, there wouldn’t be any thievery, or any illicit love affairs. Heavens, we wouldn’t even spend the extra bucks to make it into 3-D ~ and that’s a real shame because I dig those glasses.
Instead we’d just show a big fat community of believers singing and dancing with indescribable joy! All that faith, gorgeous poignant times of prayer, all those blessings being poured out, scads of miracles happening everywhere you look, and a soundtrack featuring great worship music from a host of spirit-filled singers …
Hmm … Good times.
Wait a minute. That whole paragraph is just a fantasy, isn’t it?
Or is it?
Who’s in the cast? We have our hero in Jesus and our antagonist in Satan. The Father is the Director and we are the supporting cast.
Dang it. It’s already been done. We are living our movie.
But wait. The script’s not old, don’t we write new pages to this story every day?
Scene: Felecia sits down at her computer and prays briefly before typing.
It was a dark and stormy night …
We just need to make sure we’re writing the right story – making the best movie we can. Check out this Scripture from 1 Peter:
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy – their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. ~ 1 Peter 4:1-5 (NLT)
Isn’t that wonderful? I know you don’t want to think about the suffering that Peter starts with but in verse 2 when he says: You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. Every time I read that line, I smile. It completely reminds me of where I was when Jesus captured me and made me His own. When I surrendered to Him I almost turned on a dime and stopped doing what I was doing because I’d read a lot of the Bible and already knew that God didn’t like it.
I immediately got anxious to do the will of God and I wanted to shake off the old me and put on the new me of Christ.
So what is to be our movie’s plot?
Let’s look to Peter’s first verse. I know he is talking about suffering persecution and we in America are beginning to get glimpses of what that might look like. But as a Christian, how can I feel like I’m suffering when I look at all those people who have not been born again in Christ and who are really, truly, suffering?
They fill their lives with alcohol and drugs trying to erase the pain they feel. They throw their bodies to anyone who shows a bit of interest trying desperately to find the love they are missing. They chase after false gods that epitomize their idea of being successful; trying to feel like they are someone, like they’ve made something of themselves, like they have a purpose in life . . . and missing the point of life entirely.
I know. I was there. I was empty and tried to fill myself up with whatever I could.
But we know that without Christ Jesus as their Savior they will never be able to do it. They will never find that peace and they will continue to agonize.
Now that’s sad. That’s pain. That is suffering.
Let’s live our Christianity out loud and in full view of everyone. Let’s tell someone about the Good News today. Let’s pray for those who don’t yet know Christ. Let’s show them the script that can help them on the road toward a life with Christ. Let’s fulfill our commission.
Conflict, drama, suspense, and a happy ending?
Now that would make a really good movie.
** A version of this post ran in September 2011.