A couple weeks ago I wrote a guest blog at Aaron Havens site, it was in response to the question he asked:
Is there such thing as a “Christian lifestyle” ?
I have a hard time with the word ‘Christian’ these days, partially because the term has been so thoroughly abused by its adherents. I also believe, ‘Christian’, in it’s most authentic sense refers to people. Music, bookstores, and even lifestyles weren’t made to be “Christian”, that’s just our spin on them.
Sometimes we want there to be a Christian lifestyle so we have a bar by which to measure our own lifestyles. Other times we assume our lifestyle is the Christian lifestyle, and wonder why others aren’t conforming and becoming more like us. How unbelievably boring this would world be, if that were true!
On a deeper, more personal level, I use to search for a Christian lifestyle, because I was insecure of my own. I couldn’t believe that my characteristics, my personality, my preferences could actually in any way be honorable to God (leading me to box away my smashing pumpkins and radiohead cd’s for a couple years).
Then there are those of us who long to be relevant and missional doing all things possible to reach the culture for Christ (I often fall in this camp, 1 Cor 9:19-23). I wonder if we sometimes go overboard adapting to culture, leaving Christ behind. When we look out at the culture that surrounds, sometimes we try to follow every trend, or ‘target group’, and be more skater, geek, punk, jock, gangsta, monastic, emo, prep, hippy, goth, etc… Instead, I believe there is a Kingdom culture, or a cross-culture, by which we are to live out within all of that.
The genius of the kingdom is that it transcends any particular lifestyle. It’s simply a life that seeks to honor the King. This life is most stylish, and extraordinary, and distinct, when it is the life that God uniquely intended you to live and enjoy.
Of course there are plenty of beautiful characteristics and values that we are all to allow Christ to form in every one of us (love, joy, humility, etc.). But besides these typical traits, when I look at the life of Jesus I see ‘style’… Jesus was provocative, Jesus was hilarious, Jesus was shy, Jesus was audacious, Jesus was poetic, Jesus enjoyed reclining, Jesus seemed to really dig fish, and he might even have a thing for tattoos.
Is every Christian suppose to imitate the exact same ‘lifestyle’? I’m not so sure. But I do know followers of Jesus should be full of life and have plenty of style.