“Playing a Role” is a constant theme in my life. I mean my first book was pretty much based around this idea that to live, you have to play the role society gave to you. Accept the role, play the game, and try to survive.
This idea is also bleeding into the funny memes on the internet (See photo to the below) and I talk about it all the time. Such as here in this recent blog post, “The Facade We Wear.”
We are all constantly trying to play a role given to us. The smart kid, the pretty one, the blonde one, the fitness king, the writer, the photographer, the mother, whatever it is. And to be real, to be vulnerable and true, it’s almost as if we have to fight against these roles.
And one of the most devastating ones I see all the time, especially in the South, is “The Christian Girl.”
We can’t be real with the world if we are playing “Christian Girl.” Posting photos of highlighted Bible passages we barely read. Adding a deep caption to a picture of yourself just so we have a reason to post it. Pretending we have everything figured out, even our struggles. Talking about how the struggle with “good” sins just so we don’t seem that fake or perfect without acknowledging the deeper, harder ones we really deal with every day.
You’ve got to know what I’m talking about. And I’m also aware that I do many of these things too. Just search my Instagram. I recently came up with some crap fake-deep caption just so I could post a photo and get more followers.
But all of that is just a role. It’s not real.
We’ve got to be more desperate for God. We need to recognize that we need Him more than religion. We need confession, repentance, and to see our need for God. We can’t do that if we are wearing a mask and hiding or if we’re cowering behind fake repentance because the real shit terrifies us.
We can’t do that if we aren’t real with the things we are fighting, Christian or not. There is an enemy who is coming against us and we can’t stand against him alone. We can’t fight him quietly behind a facade. We can’t just play a role and pretend like this isn’t real.
Because this is not a game. It’s not a play. It’s real life.
And the enemy is strong and real and determined. One of his weapons is the belief that we are alone, that we are the only ones struggling against demons.
We cannot fight alone. We don’t need to fight alone.
But in the end, the fight is not all there is. And this has never just been about our individual walks or our individual sins and struggles. It’s about a collective group of people, the kingdom of God, walking with and to Jesus together.
Playing the “Christian Girl Role” or the “Camp Counselor Christian” may get you a standing ovation, but it’s empty. There is no medal, there is no winning. There is only fleeting praise and counterfeit relationships. All that does is allow a dangerous and easy opening for the enemy to creep in, deceive you, and separate you from the rest of the Kingdom.
I’m not saying there’s inherently anything wrong with stereotypical “Christian Girl” things, like highlighted bible photos, long captions, complicated lattes, infinity scarves, chacos, bible verse tattoos, or Patagonia clothes. All of these things can be great and you can enjoy them.
But if that’s all there is, if there is no deeper relationship or honest, vulnerable, and genuine attempt to grow, love, learn, and live, then you’re playing a character in a play, not living your life for the true King.
And while one may earn you a passing moment of attention and praise, the other is the only way to true healing and an eternity with God.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
– Ephesians 6:11-13
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
– Romans 8:1-11