Be Known for What You Do and How You Live
Don’t touch that!
Don’t say those words!
Don’t go there!
Don’t listen to that music!
Don’t drink that!
Don’t watch that!
Don’t, don’t, DON’T… DON’T!!
If you are anything like me, you have been told your whole life “don’t”
My parents told me don’t.
My teachers told me don’t.
The cops told me don’t.
The church told me don’t.
And if you are anything like me, the more you were told, “don’t”, the more you wanted to. Call it my rebellious nature, call it stupidity, call it what ever you want – I have always been more interested in doing things than not doing things.
So, when I first heard about Jesus, I really didn’t want anything to do with Him. I didn’t need another voice in my life telling me not to do something. See, every Christian or religious person I had ever met told me some sort of the same phrase – “I don’t smoke because I am a Christian”; “I don’t drink because I am a Christian”; “I don’t have sex because I am a Christian”; “I don’t party because I am a Christian.” You know what that taught me at an early age? Christians are no fun and I don’t want anything to do with Jesus – that guy didn’t know how to party. So I wanted nothing to do with Jesus or his people.
Years later, when I was in need of hope and a community that could help me change my ways, the church was the last place I looked be cause I was a guy who did everything they said not to do. I had already made my share of mistakes with drink, smoke, sexuality and anger – So I knew I wasn’t welcome to church and Jesus didn’t want me.
You ever felt like that? Too messed up for God?
You ever hear that message? Don’t do bad things or you’ll be too bad for God.
I think plenty of us have felt that way… but you know the problem with that is… It’s all a lie or at least a half-truth.
See, somewhere along the way, we started to get selective with our Bible reading and we started picking and choosing which verses we were going to read, teach, and share on social media. And we made Jesus into a rule making jerk who wanted to take away all your fun and He was all about a clear divide between Us and Them. And it was pretty easy to know who “Us” was because they didn’t do bad things and you could tell who the “Them” were because they did bad things and hung out with people who did the same sinful acts – ewwwwww sinners.
The problem with this idea is rule following legalism is useless. Rules tell me I am never going to measure up and it forces me to live a lie acting like I am better than I actually am.
James puts it this way…
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:14-19)
Did you catch that? James is saying that what you claim isn’t as important as what you do.
Way too many people tell me about what they aren’t doing – but the problem is just that: they aren’t doing anything. Great you aren’t doing bad stuff but are you doing anything good?
You are known for what you don’t do – but why aren’t we known for what we do?
All throughout the Bible, there are lists of things we shouldn’t do – but every single time there is a DON’T verse its always followed with a DO verse.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)
Don’t do all those things BECAUSE it will distract you from doing Good Things Representing God!
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:5-17)
We are called to action – not silence.
The world is waiting for passionate, authentic Jesus lovers who aren’t good little Christians that don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t steal. The world needs men who are strong and courageous that are willing to live a life of love, of forgiveness, of service, of truth of power.
Men that aren’t wasting time lying because they are too busy speaking truth.
Men who aren’t stealing – because they are dedicated to providing for their family.
Men who aren’t giving full vent to selfish anger – because they are angry about how others are being treated so they got involved in changing lives.
Men who aren’t lusting and chasing tail because they are fully committed to their wives in all areas of their lives.
Maybe the reason your faith feels more like a job than a passion is because you have been afraid of living.
An Unorthodox Man isn’t known for what you don’t do.
An Unorthodox Man is known for what he does and how he lives.
Let’s live boldly brothers!