Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Problem with a platform - John Acoff

I read this just now and I had to repost it. There is so much truth behind it and me being the person I am, always have me on my mind. Crazy when you start to admit that to yourself and even more when you realize the lengths God goes to to remove these problems from you, nevertheless, we still struggle. Any way, check out this blog from Jon Acoff, it is spot on with stuff I deal with, especially having this blog...enjoy!

[check out his site whenever you get a chance, the guy is awesome!]

^I felt like using brackets....they are way cooler than parentheses, that and the fact I had to look up how to spell parentheses upsets me...

Stuff Christians Like

It only takes about three followers on twitter to become a punk. I know this, because I did.

When Stuff Christians Like took off three years ago I went off the deep end a bit with my ego. I got cocky. I got arrogant. I got extra handsome.

See? That just slipped out. Even in describing my narcissism I proved my narcissism. It’s a problem. I’m working on it.

But when you get a few followers on Twitter or start a blog or open a facebook account, something weird happens – you get a platform.

It’s true, you might just post photos of your cat water skiing or flowers you think look like former president Grover Cleveland, but the reality is that we all have platforms. They might be small, they might be large, but a platform is just a place where you share ideas from. That might mean speaking at main stage Catalyst to 13,000 people or beside your mailbox, speaking to your neighbor. They’re both platforms.

And I think one of the biggest reasons people don’t want to hear what’s being said from Christian platforms is that they think we’re hypocrites.

And I think hypocrisy is a form of arrogance.

The definition of arrogance is “having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one’s own importance, merit, ability, etc.” Arrogance is about pretending.

The definition of hypocrisy is, “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.” Hypocrisy is about pretending.

Whether you label it arrogance or hypocrisy, it’s easy to pretend when you find yourself with a platform. The problem is that platforms are such great places to “perform” from. It’s easy to just be you when no one is watching but on a platform there’s a great temptation to manufacture the best version of you. For a while, I wasn’t that concerned about it until I saw something in a familiar verse that I’d never noticed before.

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his famous “thorn in the flesh.” I say famous because it’s practically Christian law that you have to assume his thorn was also the exact same thing you struggle with personally. We’ve all read those verses, but what I missed was the reason Paul said he had the thorn in the flesh. Here’s what 2 Corinthians 12:7 says:

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

That is terrifying.

Paul just said that in order to keep him from becoming conceited God allowed a messenger of Satan to torment him. Conceit is so high on the list of things God is against that would sooner have Paul tormented by a messenger of Satan. Of the two, judo chop by Satan’s minion or Paul becomes conceited, God went with the judo chop.

That’s crazy, right?

Of all the things we focus on, of all the sins we shine a critical light upon, I think arrogance sometimes gets a free pass. We talk about pride every now and then, but I personally haven’t looked at it like I think our God does.

I don’t have a neat wrap up. I wish I did because I think most blog posts should. And it’s more fun to write the ones that end with grace than it is the ones that end with a groan. But that’s where I’m at.

I want to be humble.

I want to be real.

Instead of people saying “Christians are so hypocritical” I want them to say, “Christians are so honest.” And I think that starts with you and I and the way we live on the platforms we’re given by a God whose heart breaks when we get swallowed up by conceit.

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