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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jesus as a Status Symbol

What is your favorite status symbol? How do you let people know you are successful? Do you prefer to appear unsuccessful? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1190).

Noun: status

The relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society
"he had the status of a minor"; "the novel attained the status of a classic"

A state at a particular time
"a status of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"

[WordWeb Pro]

I wear two pendants about my neck—one is a cross (given to me by my wife) and the other is a an anchor upon which is affixed a crucifix (an identical one is worn by my son). These can be viewed as status symbols. They show that I am not a lost loser, but a found winner in Christ. Writing about Ezekiel Jimmy Carter says that in effect God tells the prophet “Accept me totally. It's the only way you will succeed in [your] difficult task.”** Whether Ezekiel succeeded or failed in this task, the people would know that a man of God had been among them. Thus, in a sense even if he failed he would be a winner where it counts.

This is no doubt why “losers” are attracted to Christianity. There they find that in Christ they have a special role only they can fill—to serve the Lord in their own special way, to fill their unique calling, to flourish in sustaining purpose daily.

Why do humans spend an inordinate amount of time on status? Because all have some anxiety deep down that they may be in fact losers—with nothing special about them, that they are as gray and dull as dirt. Ineluctably we are redeemed from this state only by a sense of purpose. Some purposes are too easily attained, and on attainment of them we feel hollow despite our success. The eternal verities of Christianity leave room for daily growth for a lifetime—and not for this only, but for eternity. Christians share with other saints—even those long gone—a tie that binds kindred minds quite unlike that found anywhere else.

** Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, p.103.

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