Pork and Beans and Serving Jesus

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By Lane Palmer, Christian Post Guest Columnist
August 22, 2008|9:45 am

Leave it to a creative band like Weezer to make a hilarious video like “Pork And Beans.” If you’ve seen it, you obviously noticed that it’s a ‘who’s who’ of internet people music video. There’s the “Numa Numa” kid, evolution of dance guy, K-Fed (of course), the dramatic chipmunk, Will It Blend, Lauren Caitlin Upton, the Mentos and Diet Coke ‘scientists’, afro ninja, Chocolate Rain - they even found a way to get “Charlie the Unicorn” in there…

Shun the non-believer!

What is interesting is that the band was trying to bring some redemption and healing to many of the folks who were unintentionally embarrassed by their overnight celebrity status (can you say Numa Numa?).

It also seems that the witty and self assured lameness type lyrics that are often typical of Weezer’s style have caught on to the general public as well. In point of fact, I actually could use some Rogaine for my hair and exercise for … well many things, but maybe I’ll save that for another time.

In my mind, the intriguing chorus speaks volumes about what it’s like to be a Christ follower in today’s ‘cool’ and hip culture:

Imma do the things that i wanna do
I ain't got a thing to prove to you
I'll eat my candy with the pork and beans
Excuse my manners if i make a scene
I ain't gonna wear the clothes that you like
I'm fine and dandy with the me inside
One look in the mirror and i'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot about what you think

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Think about it – do we really need the brand name of a clothing maker emblazoned across the front so large that people a few miles away can see it and be impressed with our:

AeropostaleAbercrombie & FitchAmericanEagleHollisterDelia'sForever21Tommy-HilfigerRoxy?

I’m sure that the children in third world countries who are making these clothes at 15 cents an hour are grateful, but if that’s your deal as a Christian, I have some thoughts you might want to consider.

First of all, it’s important to come to terms with the fact that those who choose to follow Jesus and pattern our lives after Him will struggle with the popular culture. And there’s a good reason for that – here’s the way the Apostle Paul explains it:

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Paul is writing to Christians who were starting to think they were ‘all that’ – when in reality they were just like us – normal, awkward, and even a bit on the geeky side.

So why is Paul reminding them of all this? Well one reason is because when we start to think we have it all together, we also start to lose sight of why God left us on planet earth after we trusted Christ:

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus’ last command to us is to go out and share the message of the Gospel so that people will trust in Him for salvation. So why can’t we do that and be popular? Well, you can try, but for the most part when you get the part where words like ‘hell’ and ‘sin’, and truths like ‘Jesus is the only way to heaven’, your popularity status will drop like last year’s styles.

In short, trying to make disciples in this day and age is like eating your candy with the pork and beans.

So consider this well. Are you gonna do what God wants you do, or do you give a hoot about what others think?

The best part is that God loves us unconditionally. We have nothing to prove to the most powerful and magnificent Being in the universe. When you live 100% for Christ, everything else comes into focus and that focus is not on branding or cost or looks or brains or abilities, but on the Person of Jesus Christ. Keep that perspective, and one day you’ll hear these words from Him:

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! (Matthew 5:23).

Head: Being faithful to Christ in sharing the Gospel is often a sure way to become unpopular. But what is popularity for a few years on earth compared to an eternity of reward in Heaven?

Heart: I realize that popularity and status are the ying and yang that make up most teenagers’ worlds, but trust me when I say that sacrificing that for obedience to Jesus is a decision you will not regret.

Hands: This week, make a list of all the rewards being popular brings you, and a list of rewards being faithful and obedient to Jesus brings you.

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Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.
 

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