Sunday, October 30, 2022

Skilled at...Lack of Substance

By Adam Faughn

    We have competitions and championships for almost everything. Read enough news, and you will come across some very weird competitions at times. Just recently, one of the strangest I have ever heard of returned after a two-year covid absence, and it is a world's championship.
    People had flown to Finland to take part in the world championships of Air Guitar. Seriously. There was a competition of people from around the world to see not who could play a guitar the best (or play a certain style of guitar the best), but who could strum...nothing (and do that better than anyone else).
    To be fair, when you read the press releases, the competitors want to win, but they also do not take themselves too seriously. They know this is fun, and they treat it as such. Still, to think that there is actually a champion of, well, basically doing nothing is a bit weird.
    However, those who are in this championship are not doing nothing; they are simply pretending to do something. They are not actually playing the guitar (it is possible, if not probable, that some do not even know how to play a guitar); rather, they are pretending to do so, but they are putting on a great show while pretending.
    It is that concept that made me do some thinking 
when I came across information about that competition. I may or may not have done air guitar in my day, but that is just a fun thing, and we can laugh it off. When it comes to far more serious things, though, many people are basically striving to "air guitar" their way through, and it is not funny in the least.
    Is it not possible for even our Christian lives to basically be like that competition? Sadly, many people put on a show of Christianity, but there is no real substance to it. 
They do not put in the hard work of studying the Bible to deepen their faith. They do 
not apply Scripture to every aspect of their lives. They may say some of the right things or have the "look" of a Christian on Sundays, but there is no real depth to what they are doing for the Lord.
    Scripture simply does not give us the option of half-doing our faith. We are not given the choice--if we want to be faithful--of being partially "in" when it comes to following God. We either love God with our all, or we do not. We are either a living sacrifice, or we are not.
    Further, we are not given the option of stagnating in our faith. The Bible simply will not let us stay immature in our faith and not seek to grow. We are either growing in grace and knowledge, or we are not. We are either taking every thought captive for Christ, or we are not. We are either shining our light before others, or we are not.
    We may fool others by putting on a show of Christianity. It is possible that we may even fool ourselves by telling ourselves that we are better than someone else or by holding to some standard that we have decided on, instead of the fullness of Scripture.
    But we will not fool the Lord. He not only sees what we do, He sees our intentions and desires. He knows if we are fully on board with being faithful and seeking to grow in our faith. He knows why we are doing what we are doing. And He knows if we are just putting on a show before others with no real substance behind it.
    Let us always make certain that we are striving to be humble when we sin and also that we are striving to be faithful to all that God would have us to be. Let us deepen our faith and be people of substance...not "air guitar" Christians.
"You are My friends if you do what I command you." (John 15:14) 
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: Visit the Faughn Family blog, A Legacy of Faith.

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