The Stage

by | Jun 7, 2016 | Vital Men Devotions

on-stage-1480214Years ago I had a student come to my office one afternoon. I small talked with him for a little while and then politely told him I had to get back to work. He remained in my office anyway, as if he expected something amazing to happen at any moment. After about fifteen minutes he looked at me and said: “you are way more boring in person then you are on stage!” He was spot on. For 25 minutes on Wednesday nights I was funny, energetic, thoughtful, Biblical, and {hopefully} inspiring. But that day in my office I was busy, tired, and preoccupied by the seemingly never-ending to-do list hanging above my desk. I always thought it was ridiculous that people expect me to be the same off-stage as when I am on. I work all week for those 25 minutes I am on stage, pouring over the scriptures, reading commentaries, reading and listening to the opinions of other pastors, thinking about creative ways to communicate, and practicing jokes. With all of that preparation I am obviously going to be much better when I’m on stage then when you are around me in person.

Now, I realize many of you aren’t on stage on a regular basis, but I think we all encounter a similar situation when it comes to living out our faith. When we are at church, small group, Vital meetings, and the like we know all the right answers and know exactly how to act. We can even, with preparation, ably lead a small group or Sunday school class. Many of us would never dream of cursing, cheating, putting someone down, or hurting someone while at a church function, but we have no trouble doing so in the other areas of our lives.

It’s fantastic that we tend to give our best effort, and be on our best behavior, when we are at church and around other Christians. But God doesn’t want our best only when we are “on the stage,” but each and everyday. Because, lets be honest about something: we are on the stage more on a daily basis then we ever are at church. Everyday others are, for better or for worse, watching and learning from our actions and behaviors. We hold their attention, and can either impact them for God or make a negative impression.

I love how this idea comes out in the Message translation of Romans 12:1-2: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Are you giving God your best everyday? Are you preparing yourself everyday to be the best possible servant and disciple you can be? Are you perpetually on the lookout for unexpected opportunities to serve and witness? As Shakespeare famously said, “all the world’s a stage.” May we be ready to be living and serving for God every moment of our lives.

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