Do you ever wonder about how repeatable our days are? How uninterrupted our lives are? How monotonous things get? It’s not all bad of course? Doing good things regularly, is, well, good.
Do you ever wonder if your life is too predicable?
When was the last time you did something to break from the mold, the monotony, the routine?
Someone wise once said, “When predictability is high, impact is low”.
That begs the question…When was the last time you did something questionable?
I don’t mean something morally questionable or stupid or foolish.
I mean, does our life cause others to question who we are?
Do we just fit in without even thinking?
Jim Carey’s old movie, The Truman show, about someone who is stuck in a routine, is a metaphor or analogy for those who want to dream of something more. For those who might say, “I don’t want to fit in anymore”
How about if I told you that Jesus invites us to live a questionable life?
WHAT? Some might not be able to fathom this, because in their minds, faith is this prim and proper box that religious people fall into. But Jesus definitely didn’t call us to live in a box. He invites us to live in the world, making a difference in every corner we might find ourselves in. How can we do that if we aren’t living questionably?
2 scriptures come to mind here: Colossians 4:2-6 & 1 Peter 3:13-16
In Colossians 4, after Paul talks about being prayerful, watchful, and thankful, he challenges the reader to be wise in how they speak to those outside of their community – seasoning their conversations with salt, filling them with grace. Then Paul says, “So You May Answer Everyone”
He’s saying, live in such a way, that inspires, spurs on, begs for questions. Because answers are only answers if someone is asking a question.
It’s in 1 Peter 3 where we are really challenged to make a splash with our life, and define who we are to those watching…
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
What is Peter getting at here? What makes a questionable life?
Give Jesus a prominent spot in your heart
In other words, “In your hearts, give Christ a unique place”
Paul says something similar in Col 3…Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated…”
Jesus also says something similar…(Luke 12) do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it…(Matt 6) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
Peter is saying – Who you are is dictated by what your heart values– what occupies the space of your heart. Peter is simply saying, give Jesus the prominent place in your heart.
Let Jesus leak out into your life
Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. (the message)
For Peter, every day is an opportunity to live a questionable life, where you live and act in such a way that people question why.
Peter’s example is? Doing Good! That’s it. Good?
But for Peter, this is an alternative way of life. The good life for Peter is a life of values, of virtue, of hope, of love, of kindness. We have simplistic view of GOOD, but it’s the opposite. It’s profound.
Doing good, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard…is the questionable thing Jesus is inviting us to.
For Peter, this is how Jesus leaks out of us. By living out the good values of God’s kingdom. (peace, joy, kindness, justice, compassion)
Jesus’ place in our hearts effects those around us, only when he leaks out of us. That is questionable living.
Peter, in this brilliant letter says, our lives can spur on questions – our lives, our actions, our way of doing life in the world – hope, peace, love, mercy, kindness, etc, is what get’s people asking questions…leading them to much more than predictability.
Surprise the world
Don’t be predictable
Live a life that gets the attention of others
Have them asking…
Why are you hopeful? (when things look dismal)
How do you have energy to do good? (when I can hardly get up to go to work)
How can you be so calm or patient or joyful? (when circumstances are crummy)
Why does it seem like you walk to the beat of a different drum?
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small(er) group questions:
What do you think about this quote?
“When predictability is high, impact is low.”
Take some time to read 1 Peter 3:13-16. What are some initial take a ways?
Colossians 4 challenges our conversations with those who don’t follow Jesus to be seasoned with salt, and filled with grace. 1 Peter 3 challenges us to respond to questions with gentleness & respect.
What does that mean for you?
What does that look like?
Why is this so important?
What does it mean to live a questionable life? What kind of lives make people ask questions? Is this hard work? Should it come naturally?
Why and How can Christianity surprise the world?
What are you praying about or praying for today?Exodus Week 3 – Parent Take Home