Thinking of the increased stress we can feel during the holiday due to the attacks on Christmas itself, in particular the push to wipe out the focus of Christ. This movement to “rid” our culture of religion – and let’s make no mistake about it, it’s really only when the reference is to Christ and Christianity that there is a big push to separate religion – only adds to the stress that we all feel. Yes, even the non-Christian, flaming liberal types experience stress by this movement to rid the culture of Christianity. Why? We are cheating ourselves out of experiencing true diversity by trying to water down all references to religion. We take on a bland, boring and shallow existence when we wipe out the richness of people’s religions, thus we become Tofu People. Tofu People, like Tofu the food, are bland, boring, and they don’t have any real flavor. Oh, Tofu People can “go with” a lot of things, for they don’t bring anything to the table that would conflict with anything else, however they really are only filler, and definitely not the part that one looks forward to eating. How can we be truly happy and excited about the zest of life when our focus is on avoiding discomfort, or being anxious about “not offending others” for being who we are? We can’t.
I walked behind a car the other day, which had a fish with legs and Darwin on it, we’ve all seen them. You have seen all the political negativity that is permeating our country today; what a sad way to express one’s self in such a reactionary way. However, us Christians sometimes can look and sound just as reactionary. It is psychologically healthy to have a belief system that you feel is “the way.” It is relationally mature to be able to accept that others are going to feel the same way about their faith or (belief system) as you do yours. Our job as Christians is to rise above reactionary “in your face” attitudes, as well as the “so no one will be offended, I’ll try to be politically correct” mindset.
We are to be salt and light! When our life takes on a purpose greater than our just getting by, we will give depression a major kick in the pants. I’m not saying it will be magic, but it will help. We at least will feel like our lives have meaning, and that can override a lot of sadness. I suggest reading the “Jesus Freaks” books put out by DC Talk, and Voice of the Martyrs, you will see what I mean when you read about the lives of those who were martyred and persecuted for the gospel.
We are drawn to movies about passionate people – passionate about their love for one another, their sport, work, various causes – but when it comes to religion, the world wants everyone to be “Tofu.” Don’t buy into it, let Jesus make your life passionate for Him, the Father, and the kingdom of God, and let others be Tofu if they want. James 1:22-25 speaks powerfully to this issue; I pray you are encouraged by it!
–Shane M. Jones | Shane M. Jones & Associates, P.A.