Well-known actor, Zachary Levi, (Chuck, Tangled) points out that the Hollywood milieu, dominated by celebrity, status and money, is a difficult place to talk about following Christ. “There are a lot of people who consider themselves ‘spiritual,’” he says, “but that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.”
Living out his own faith in Christ is important. “I don’t really talk about it that often, because there’s too much talk in the world. Especially with Christians, there’s more proselytizing than there is actual living proof of it. That’s kind of sad.”
Living a Christ-centered life in a dark environment makes an impact, but when the stakes are not merely Hollywood values but life and death, following Christ can be powerfully life-changing.
Ray and Ruth Ann are friends of ours who live near Toronto. They described a conversation they had with a Muslim acquaintance from Iraq. They asked him what he thought of Christians.
“I did not learn hardly anything in my country other than Christians worship three gods.”
Then, he went on to talk about how Christians are perceived in Iraq: “In my country, Christians are often put in charge of finances because they are honest.”
When he left Iraq to study at a Scandinavian university, he started attending a church every Sunday. Why?
“My parents told me that Christians are very kind people – and they are!”
Because of the language difference, he did not understand the messages very well but he was constantly struck by the lives of the Christians he met. An Indian Christian gave him a Bible. He was glad to get it because, “He was a selfless person. He did most of the work on our team projects and never sought to be acknowledged. When others claimed to have done his work, he never got angry or demanded credit. But, I knew what he had done.”
“Living the life” is not something we have to do but we get to do. And it should be the natural outgrowth of our awareness of being loved, accepted and forgiven by Christ. It’s time we stop demanding respect as if we deserved it.
So, today, let hope be in our faces even if we are treated badly, and joy in our attitudes even when we are discouraged. We may be giving the best “commercial” for Christ to those who need it most.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5).