I think it's fair to say that we enjoy being around genuine people. No one likes someone who acts one way around one group of people and another way around another group of people. We tend to call these people fake. But as I think about my life and as we think about the culture around us - is our society shaping us into genuine people or fake people?
Relevant Magazine posted an article on their website called: "5 Things We Will Wish We'd Done Differently." It is suggesting when our generation is old and gray, we will look back regretfully at these 5 decisions.
1. "Most of my spare time was sacrificed to social media. Collectively, Americans spend 100,000 years on Facebook every month." WHAT?! How crazy is that??
2. "I knew more about celebrities than I did about my neighbors...The relationship with a celebrity is one way...you have no opportunity to affect their lives, only observe them." I am guilty of this one, big time.
3. "I was so set on buying things, I never got the pleasure of making them." I see their point, but I'm not sure if I will necessarily regret this one.
4. "I wasted my life entertaining myself...As long as we are preoccupied with self-entertaining, we have little time for reflection on the needs of other people." Ouch, this hits home.
5. "I never found time to be quiet." And yet we wonder why we don't feel connect to God?
Friends, I'm afraid our society is molding us into fake people. We have been reading through the book of Jonah. In chapter 2, Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish for God to save him. And guess what? Our gracious God came to his rescue. In chapter 3, Jonah finally goes to Nineveh and explains that because of their evil ways, they will be destroyed in 40 days. What is their response? They fast, wear burlap, and pray earnestly to God to be saved. Hear the words of the king and God's response...
"Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us. When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened."
God is our rescuer. God hears our prayers. God sees if our hearts are genuine or fake.
I don't want to let my culture turn me into a fake like the Ninevites had originally allowed. I want to be genuine - an authentic follower of Jesus Christ - not a follower of my culture. The only way this will happen is if I stop looking at what my culture says is normal and good for me and start looking at Jesus.