I know that you are all more mature than I am. Or at least more mature than I used to be. When I was younger, I had embarrassing friends! I'm not sure if you know what that means or not, so let me explain. I had my church friends and I had my school friends. They were my embarrassing friends. When I was at church, I did not want my school friends to show up. When I was at school and a church friends walked by me in the hall, I wanted to crawl under a desk.
I know, I know. Real mature. Well done sir! Yes, I am human. I am fully man. Flawed man! This was me. On this Valentine's Day, I hope that none of you have would say that your significant other is your embarrassing valentine! That would make today very awkward for us all. You take her to a restaurant so far away that you are sure no you know will show up!
I am old enough, or rather my kids are old enough now, that I am their embarrassing friend! Unfortunately for them, I have been waiting for this moment my whole life! Dance wildly when their friends are around. Talk about embarrassing things. Share fun baby stories to their friends. My kids with their actions and responses say something like this, "Yes, I really like you and care about you, but only in a certain context."
We watch plenty of movies and tv shows that portray that phrase. The fact that I see this played out, even in the shows my kids watch, let's me know that I, in fact, am not alone. I am not the only one who has played this game...the Embarrassing Friend game!
So, to all of you getting ready to take that special someone out tonight, walk with them proudly! Enjoy their company, regardless of who is around. Be proud to be seen with them. If you are not able to do that, why are you with them?
Let's abruptly shift gears to Jesus, our embarrassing friend! Yes, I went there!
Don't get mad at me for setting you up for this! You had to know a plot twist was around the corner. If you would allow me, I want to pose three simple questions, so you can find out if Jesus would fit the bill for your embarrassing friend! Here we go...
Question #1 for 10 points: Do I publicly pray before a meal?
I know this seems elementary, but when I was in elementary school, this was a BIG deal for me. Could I bow my head and close my eyes and say a quick prayer before a meal...in front of my classmates! What would they say? How would they react? What will happen if they find out I am one of those Christians?!
Unfortunately, I don't believe that we think too much differently now, than we did then. We tend to continue to worry about the same things over and over again. And if you can't do something basic like this, the signs might be saying, Jesus is your embarrassing friend.
Question #2 for 751 points: Do I post anything "Christian" on my social media?
Again, maybe a basic question. But a very telling one. I love seeing your family photos! I appreciate your political views and that you are willing to take a stand for something. Sometimes I wonder if if you are as proud of God as you are your party?! And please, in no way am I referencing the "If you love Jesus pass this along" posts!
I wouldn't mind seeing your story though. Tell me what God has done in your life. Share with me the times that He has been good to you. Our testimony is a powerful thing, in that, scripture is very clear. If you scroll through your own timeline and don't see anything, maybe Jesus is your embarrassing friend.
Question #3 for 1,342 points: Do I bring up Jesus in everyday conversations?
I work at a church, so I cannot always speak to this one as much. Jesus being in my conversation seems to be my job. But that was not always the case. Before I moved to Memphis, I was pastoring at a church that could not support me full-time. I worked a 40+ hour a week job with unbelievers. I spent a lot of time with people who had completely different views than I did.
Did I only mention God after someone sneezed?! God bless you is a good start, but let's bring Jesus out of His box we have put Him in. If He is enough to save us, He should be enough to get us through everyday. He is enough to put our eternal trust and hope in, then He should be enough to bring up when a co-worker is going through a tough time. If He is our hope, perhaps He can be theirs too. If you don't believe that, maybe Jesus is your embarrassing friend.
Question #4 for 1 million points: Do I worship freely at my place of worship?
We call it "a place of worship" because you are supposed to worship there, correct? I am not calling anyone or any church out on this. I know very well that within every church there are those that worship more freely and those that are more reserved. I know that there are those that have been forgiven much and therefore love much.
I also know how "reserved" people can be while watching their favorite team play in a game. I am thankful that God saw us in our mess and was not embarrassed of us. That He was even willing to embarrass Himself all the way to the cross for us. He was proud of us and fought for us in those moments and still does. We are his Valentine that He is proud to be seen with.
Needless to say, if you can't be proud of your God in a place that it is expected from you, maybe Jesus is your embarrassing friend.
I hope and pray that this post was not seen as condemning but rather encouraging and convicting. We are His ambassadors, set up apart, called to Himself to reach the lost. So walk around proudly with HIM! Show Him off. Let Him be seen in and through you life!
But how can they call on Him if they have not put their trust in Him? And how can they put their trust in Him if they have not heard of Him? And how can they hear of Him unless someone tells them? Romans 10:14
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Luke 9:26