Keep Jesus Weird: Reflections on Counter-Cultural Discipleship
In following Jesus, I think it’s common for some of our deep values to look weird to others. I’ve also found that it can be a good challenge to learn how to talk about them.
I’ve been drawn to Jesus’ intensely radical values around money since college and Jesus has continued to flush them out over the years. I’ve tried, as best as I knew at each stage, to lean into practicing those values. But…
But I’m a broken person too, full of sin. And one way that plays out is that I struggle to think I deserve things, or that I’m worth a little expense or inconvenience. That brokenness LOVES my values around money. The brokenness undermines the value in some important ways. So, what ends up happening is that I practice the values, but it didn’t always (usually) flow from a place of joy and freedom and trust. And then I also couldn’t articulate my values very well when people asked about the decisions I made around money or my possessions, because it was all twisted up in side. So it was a bit of a bumpy road… while God was growing his values in me, I sometimes found myself self-consciously explaining in ways that made people laugh or tease or question why I spent (or didn’t spend!) my money the way that I did.
In recent years, Jesus has truly made some headway in untwisting the values from the sin. Which is pretty darn marvelous. Now–mostly–I am able to be generous with joy, to not struggle with an inward sense of feeling impoverished. And to be (judiciously) generous towards myself.
But I’ve been noticing more and more that while the inward stuff is working itself out, I haven’t rectified the fact that I still don’t know how to tell the story of it. Perhaps I’m self-conscious or afraid. But I still wrestle with articulating the source of my decision-making, or the joy it gives me to pay for a fistula surgery that will change a woman’s life 10,000 miles away.
I’ve felt really convicted about it. My weird ways do look weird to a lot of people and I don’t mind. But I don’t want those ways to be a joke or dismissed because of my fear and shyness. So I’m wanting to lean into the conversation as much as the actions. I want to be able to articulate my weirdness, not just be weird!