If you’ve spent any amount of time in a church you’ve likely heard someone make mention of what a shame it is, that as Christ-followers we aren’t more outwardly expressive in our faith. The typical example is how at a football game the crowd yells and cheers and makes fools of themselves with little to no care in the world about what others around them may think. But as Christ-followers we shy away from such tendencies and instead reserve ourselves to the point of barely a whisper. The point that’s trying to be made is, that as Christ-followers we ought not be afraid or ashamed to be vocal or expressive in our faith. After all, the song tells us to not hide our light under a bowl… No!
I’ll admit, I’ve likely used this example a time or two. After all it does seem odd that we can be so expressive about something so unimportant; like the outcome of a ball game. Then, as if a switch is flipped, become so reserved and timid when it comes to things of eternal consequence.
I think I may have stumbled upon the reason for this discrepancy though (while not new to some, I’m sure. It was a revelation to me while sitting in church this morning). The reason we can act like a crazed fan at a ball game, but clam up when at church is simple… At a ball game you’re not called out for being the loudest cheerleader in all the stands. At church, however, should you do something deemed out of line or too over the top (i.e. too expressive or noticeable), you’ll be sure to be told about it–directly or indirectly.
I love the Church, don’t misunderstand. But this is yet another case in point where the Church gets it wrong. Why do we come down on ourselves when we believe someone is being too expressive in their faith. When often times the reality isn’t they are too expressive, rather they are doing it different than we’d prefer.
Note the key word there–PREFER.
Church isn’t about, nor should it ever be about our preferences. When Church becomes about my preferences, it’s no longer about God. And he’s the main point… the only point. So instead of caring about everyone else and how they do or don’t do it. Care more about how God is calling you to do it and then do it! It’s really that simple.