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Role Playing

April 26, 2006

I listened on-line to Donald Miller speak this past Sunday. He was talking about role playing and Jesus saying I want honesty, I want you to be who you are, as simple and honest as you can be.

He gave an illustration of when he was younger and would be playing tennis at this park and occasionally they would hit the ball into these woods where there were these guys dressed up in kind of Lord of the Rings outfits. And they would stop and look at their feet. He asked, “What are you doing, playing Dungeons and Dragons?” They would answer, “We’re playing Ravenclaw, its a much superior game”. And they were thinking would you please get out of our reality with your “racket” and your white shorts, you weirdo.

He said that this is kind of what happens sometimes with Christians. We are asked by someone what we are doing. This person thinks what we are doing is strange or silly.

To me this doesn’t point out that we should jetison all things that might seem strange, but that we don’t need to pretend. If its geniune, real, meaningful then when we explain they will understand. But when its fake, where do we turn.

The Message paraphrases Matthew 6 as follows:

The World Is Not a Stage

1“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.

2“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure–“playactors’ I call them–treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. 3When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. 4Just do it–quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

Pray with Simplicity

5“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

6“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2006 11:31 am

    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…

    I used to think that meant always be ready to tell people why we don’t use instrumental music, and why we have a high view of baptism, etc. I’m sure I came off fake a lot of times b/c I didn’t understand my own reasoning!

    Now that I have reasoned it out for myself, I have shifted in some areas. But the most significant change I’ve made is putting everything in the larger context of Jesus Christ – the reason for the hope I have! Nothin’ fake there! šŸ™‚

    Great post TCS.

  2. April 26, 2006 2:43 pm

    I guess it is my preaching background, but your post brought to mind different preachers I used to listen to that had one voice for the pulpit and another when you were just talking to them. Don’t see many of those these days, but being real and genuine is still a challenge for all of us. Thanks for this post – it is a much needed reminder!

  3. April 26, 2006 2:48 pm

    Thanks Ang.

    Lee, I know one of those guys, when I hear him I almost start giggling.

    Was that actually taught or did people just pick that up?

  4. April 26, 2006 3:49 pm

    Oh yeah… the preachers that make the name Jesus into a 4-syllable word! Good gracious granny! That annoys me to no end!

  5. April 26, 2006 9:58 pm

    I felt like when I posted that last post about talking to the cool old guy — after reading all the kudos I got from commenters that I had violated that Matthew 6 passage!


  6. April 26, 2006 10:41 pm

    It is hard to be perfectly humble. Know what I mean, Verne?

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