My reputation is staked on Jesus’. It is nailed to the cross. There is no turning back.

My reputation is staked on Jesus.  It is nailed to the cross.  There is no turning back.

I kind of hate it when people find out that I’m a student pastor—at least, when initially meeting someone or before they can get to know me.  I’m not ashamed of following Jesus and I’m not ashamed of who Jesus is.  And, I’m not ashamed of being a student pastor.  (I ridiculously love what I do for my vocation.)  The reason I feel this way is because I immediately get lumped into whatever category that person lumps people involved in Christian ministry.  Good, bad, or indifferent—they think of me in terms that might not be fair.  They might think I’m amazeballs awesome more than I am and put unrealistic expectations on me.  Or worse, they might think I’m a cheesy, judgmental dude.

We are so quick to judge other people based on what they do to pay the rent.  There are 50,000 different things that make a person who they are, yet we put so much value on what happens from 9-5.  Granted, what we do for our vocation ends up being what is near and dear to our hearts.  I include myself in that, obviously.  What bothers me is that this is so normal for how we get to know someone—or if we want to get to know them at all.  I feel like a lot of times, I don’t end up getting a shot to know someone’s true self because of how they think of me.  Or, they change their approach to talking to me, all because I’m up for having a deep conversation about Godstuff with a teenager at a lock-in or mission trip experience.  They say a curse word around me and many times I immediately hear them say, “Oh sorry!”

Like I’ve never heard a word like that before!  Just say it, dude.

Like I said earlier, I love what I do for a living.  I’d do it in some shape or form regardless of what the 9-5 looks like.  But my ultimate identifying mark of my life is that I follow Jesus of Nazareth, The Rabbi.

Having said that, my reputation is staked on Jesus’ reputation.  It is nailed to the cross.  There is no turning back.

I get asked all of the time if doubting is ok for Christ followers to have.  Students want to know if that eliminates them from the heart of God.  We talk, we are honest, we work through it together.  Teenagers also ask me if I ever doubt.  I do.  I have a lot of doubts.  Although, now I frame those doubts as questions I know will go unanswered for a long time.  To me, that’s a better way of looking at it.

I have wholeheartedly put my reputation on Jesus Christ.  That doesn’t just affect what I do for a living; it affects how I view the world, make choices, carry stress, and feel any semblance of joy or peace.  It’s a choice I’ve ended up making, despite unanswered questions I have or lingering doubts.  That’s what faith is all about, after all: having faith.

Faith is something that has a lot of questions, a lot more answers than people give it credit for, and a lot of ambiguity.  At some point, you need to make that decision.  You need to recognize God’s hand in your life.  It takes resolve and commitment to stick with.  And when you have that, over time it can get easier.  Then one day you realize that you don’t want to go back, that it’s not even feasible for you to not believe.

In John 6:67, Jesus has a lot of disciples leave Him.  Jesus turns to the twelve original disciples and asks if they were going to take off, too.  They reply with words to live by.

“Where would we go?  You alone have the words of eternal life.”

My reputation is staked on Jesus.  It is nailed to the cross.  There is no turning back.

My reputation is staked on Jesus.  It is nailed to the cross.  There is no turning back.

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About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
This entry was posted in faith, identity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to My reputation is staked on Jesus’. It is nailed to the cross. There is no turning back.

  1. Kristen P. says:

    I just love when I see an e-mail pop up that you’ve posted and particularly love that you used the word amazeballs! BOOM!

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