Paula Wiseman and Andrea Moriarty are teaching me a thing or two about authentic Christian living! They’ve been writing about how their faith plays out each typical day, giving readers an inside look at real Christianity. Each day as I have read their posts, I have learned something new.
Today Andrea posted a clip from Mary Poppins. I hope she doesn’t mind, but I going to pick up on that theme and include my favorite clip from this movie, one that reminds me of the contrast between worldly living and Christian living. Here, executive and father Banks has just been fired from his banking job and is bemoaning the loss of his dream:
So, what does this have to do with authentic Christianity? Let me explain: Authentic Christianity means living in an upside down world. Things that seem important in the typical world are usually the least important things by Christian standards. For example, power, prestige and money mean little when compared to showing compassion and love to those in our circles. Christian economics is based on a heavenly exchange rate, one the world simply does not understand.
But here is where things get tricky for me as I live out my faith: I can’t shut out the world. The pressure to succeed and get ahead is preached at me every day through commercials, magazine articles, on billboards and in all of the over-the-fence conversations with the Jones’, you know, that family down the street that I can never quite keep up with. So it is often a daily struggle to keep my priorities in check:
For all the pagan world is [greedily] seeking these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Only aim at and strive for and seek His kingdom, and all these things shall be supplied to you also. Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!
Luke 12:30-32 (Amplified Bible)
Almost every day I wonder if I am doing all that I could be doing. I wonder if I am missing opportunities because I choose to work out of my home as a part-time consultant (rather than work full time) so I can be here to help Elise and Alec with their homework after school. We have financially struggled so much this year that I have nearly thrown in the towel and sought full-time work. I have questioned myself and my motives. But all the while I know that God has me right where He wants me: here at home. Working part-time may not be your God-given calling, but it is mine.
Authentic Christian living is upside down living:
“But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.”
Luke 22:26 (New Living Translation)
That kind of living makes no sense to the world. It’s crazy living. Radical living. But living this way brings the divine into life. It’s like God miraculously squeezes more life into each day. By living this way, Christians find joy that is often missed by others, as God makes sure that we don’t miss out on the sweetest moments of life. Our friend Burt (in the clip above) knows this truth and as he shares the following precious advice to Mr. Banks:
You’ve got to grind, grind, grind
At that grindstone
Though child’ood slips like sand through a sieve
And all too soon they’ve up grown
And then they’ve flown
And it’s too late for you to give…
When I look around and fear that I am not getting ahead, I have to remind myself that I don’t have to measure up to the world’s standard of success. My treasures are not of this world, but every bit as real.