Once, I posted the trailer to my movie AFTER I posted the completed video. I'm doing things in a round-about way again. I wrote this post a few days ago but kept it in the Drafts folder because I wasn't sure if I really wanted to post it. It seems now that I've already answered my own question. Still, I learned something about myself in the process of writing this and so I imagine there is value in it, even as I've begun to answer the questions.
I eat meat. I understand meat production in America as not only violent to those directly involved in the process but as selfishly deflecting resources away from the country's and the world's hungry. I understand all of that and yet tonight I ate a chicken sandwich from Quizno's.
Were the occasional, self-satisfying meat consumption my only shortcoming. As I work to model the life of Jesus, I become painfully aware of how short I've come.
My first time attending The Haven, we remarked that non-Christians and Christians have no noticeable differences when it comes to “being good people.” I serve a holy, strong, merciful, bold, just, courageous, loving, and sacrificing God and yet my atheist friends embody these characteristics just as much as I. When others look at me, do they see a self-obsessed, self-righteous, arrogant young man who views himself and the world through the lens of his own piety? In the tension between freedom and works, do I prefer the latter, have I lost sight of faith? Do I remember Paul's words to the Galatians? “How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Is faith-guided activism simply an attempt at self-justification, through not only action but through profession of faith?
Perhaps worse still, do I use freedom as a Get Out Of Jail Free card? Have I allowed Paul's reminder that “Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you don't get tied up again in slavery to the law,” to excuse my own shortcomings? For as much as I talk about creating change in my own life, I see an awful lot of the status quo.
In the end, tofu will not be enough. I count on the One who did more than I will accomplish and now it is time, as Jay put it, to Put Up or Shut Up.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with action and in truth. - 1 John 3:18What will my love look like?