We all want to be cool. No one epitomizes this more than Tom from Parks and Recreation. But we are all like Tom in one way or another. We want people to like us. We want to be popular. We want to dress in style. We fear being uncool. We fear wearing a lame outfit. We fear being made fun of. We jump through a lot of hoops to be cool. But what is cool?
Cool is this ever changing thing that only matters because we think it does. What was cool in our parent's generation is now totally lame. What is cool today will be lame in less than ten years. Cool doesn't even make sense half of the time. Cool has told guys to wear their pants halfway down their waists and told girls to take those stupid tongue sticking out pictures on Facebook. But we do it to be cool. Is it worth it?
To be cool, you have to conform to whatever image the culture is currently pumping out. You like wearing flannel? Well too bad, its not cool. You like talking about Power Rangers even though you are a senior in high school? Well knock it off, cause its not cool!
When we chase after being cool, we end up giving up the things that make us who we are and we start doing things that make other people who they are.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.-- Psalm 139:14
God spent time making each of us who we are. He gave us personalities for a reason. God doesn't want us to be like everyone else, He wants us to be us. And the truth is, if we chase after coolness and give up the things that make us who we are, then we will end up giving up our joy and happiness. To be cool, we have to kill our own identity
Cool kills your faith
How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? -- John 5:44
The Bible also tells us that chasing after the approval and praise of men will cause us to shipwreck our faith. We can't serve two masters. When we strive to be what the world wants us to be, we can't be what God wants us to be. Our speech won't be pleasing to God when we talk like the world. Our dress won't honor God when we chase after all of the latest fashions. Either we are living our lives to please God above all or we are living our lives to be cool above all.
There are lots of ways you can put God first and still be cool. Wearing Uggs doesn't automatically make you a sinner. But there will be times when the cool culture tells you to do things that are crossing the line. Its cool to dress immodestly and show cleavage. But its not pleasing to God. Its not cool to spend time with your family on Friday night when everyone is going to that party. But it certainly pleases God. There will be times when cool tells you to go one way and God wants you to go another. Chasing after cool will kill your faith.
Instead, we should be striving to hear that wonderful phrase from God Himself. "Well done, my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)
I really enjoyed Mike Guzzardo's message. There was a lot more to it than that. But I wanted to share this part. It left me thinking about my own life. A lot of the illustrations and examples are geared toward teenagers. Adults, don't let that cause you to check out. We all strive for the approval of others. And whenever we do that, we run the risk of killing the person God created us to be and killing our faith.
- In what areas of my life do I desire the approval of others?
- What person or group do I most desire approval from?
- Are there any ways that I have changed who I am in order to please those people? Was it worth it?
- In what ways have I disobeyed God or compromised my faith for the attention and approval of others?
- How can I repent of that?
- How can I remind myself every day that I should be striving to please God and not men?