You know that old saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, it’s true because your body can only use the nutrients from that food you take in to repair and remodel itself. If you feed yourself junk food, then don’t expect to be the next olympic athlete. I bet you already knew that though. You are a smart crowd. However, consumer culture limits our ability to be the best that we can be by advertising junk that we don’t need directly to our face day in and day out. What purpose does this all serve? Is it to make us want that junk or is it maybe something deeper, perhaps to make us slaves to others? No, I think it is actually none of the above. Consumer culture works to make us slaves to our own selves by making us feel inadequate if we don’t have the latest trend or the new snack food. It feeds off our base human desires to fit-in and be accepted by our fellow man.
What if I told you that by not conforming to this crazy culture, you might fit-in even better with the right crowd of people? Then, you might be very happy to free yourself from the weight and pressure to conform. You might be even more inclined to attend those dance classes you never tried or finally run that marathon because society finally stopped telling you what to feel and you actually started feeling what was real. That would be pretty great!
Where am I going with all this? Well, you might not be surprised if I related this in some way to Jesus, but I will anyway because it is only through Jesus that we can be ourselves. For not only does he not judge us in the way society does or can, but even better, he only asks that we believe in him and his power. He stands as a confidant actively encouraging us to be a better us: to love more, to give more, to do more, and more importantly, to be more. For when we build our lives with his guidance, then we express the grace that only he can provide. Just as the good nutrients from food work to give us stronger bodies, the well informed guidance from Jesus works to give us a stronger spirit.
For as we can become slaves to society, so too can these slaves to society become us again. Only through a complete comparison can we see that the bad nutrients of consumer culture warrant our much valued attention. For we lose a bit of ourselves every time society tells us what we need to wear or what we should do. As the eroding cliff of our individuality slowly drops into the sea of conformity, we must realize that only Jesus Christ himself can reverse the process and raise up those lost pieces of ourselves to where they once sat perched overlooking the sea of others (right where they should be). When we only let Jesus into our sights during church, we forget and quite often we miss his message. The casual Christian ideal where God is only present at church needs to end as only when we embrace Christ 24/7 can we finally begin to learn about who we are with his help.
Let Jesus Christ give you the strength to be bold and look out for a brand new day. Step outside with his guidance as only he provides the day to you. Society does not own you and only you can free yourself from the twine that ties your hands and prevents you from fully expressing yourself. For only when you realize that your life is meant to be experienced through your own eyes and not the eyes of others will you be free. So, go ahead, and do what your heart desires, set new limits, cast away the chains of society to reach new heights, and most of all be yourself (with the help of Jesus of course 😉 )!