You know you make me wanna SHOUT!
Posted On 2010-05-19
Who are you? What do you do? Why are you hear?
These are questions I get asked all the time. If I were, in reality, the person most people assume me to be, I would be an Australian on perpetual vacation in a foreign country!
In the U.S., when we are introduced to someone, a key component of our identity is our occupation– “Hi, I’m Steve. I’m an accountant.” Where I currently live in Asia, one’s occupation is far less important than where you are from and your family background. When two people meet they immediately begin talking about their place of origin and their family connections. After origins are established the next most important components of identity are marriage status, children, and religion.
But regardless of how one’s identity is defined, identity is important, and the Jewish leaders in John 1:19-34 wanted to know about John.
“Are you the One sent from God?” they asked.
“No,” John replied, “I am merely a voice shouting in the wilderness–make way for the LORD!”
A voice shouting…hmmm…can I be described as a “a voice shouting?” Is the world around me already so loud that I’ve given up on shouting? Have I convinced myself what whispering is more effective (or at least more safe) than shouting? Do I really even believe that I have anything worth shouting about?
Understand, I’m not talking about literal shouting from the rooftops or from the top level of your local mall. There are times for being vocal and places for demonstrative expressions of faith, values, and beliefs. But this “shouting” isn’t only a vocal act but an all-encompassing way of life.
The life of holiness is a life of shouting with our words, our actions, our attitudes, our everything–“Look, here is the God who has saved me! Look at Christ, he is the one that I follow.”
The question I must face is this–does my life whisper or shout?
We are shouting every moment of every day of our lives. The only question is what are we shouting? Are we pointing toward God or toward something else? Are we making known the way of following Jesus or the way to somewhere else? Do our live build up, encourage, love, and bring hope, peace, and joy to others…or do we spend our time looking down on those who don’t measure up?
What am I shouting?
What are you shouting?
What are we–the body of Christ in this modern world–shouting?