the coffee mug Christian

It’s easy to be a Christian.

Go to a “Christian Book Store,” and you’ll see what I mean. The walls are lined with Scripture prints for all your inspirational décor needs. T-shirts, keychains, tote bags, journals, photo frames, gift bags, you name it. Walk in a heathen; walk out an accessorized Christian . . . complete with your Christian coffee mug, compliments of a wide selection printed with the same five, out-of-context verses. Never mind that the devotional calendar you just bought includes Luke 4:7, “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Never mind that Satan was the one who said that. Surely no one will notice. If they walk in your house and see Scripture, you’re good.

The real impact comes when you flaunt your 2 Chron 7:14 coffee mug. Those fellow hipster-wannabes will think you’re so godly. And devout. And holy. And patriotic {bonus points}. They won’t know that you haven’t even read the other 21 verses in the chapter or that you have no idea that the Lord was speaking those words to Solomon and not to America.

It’s okay. They’ll just know you’re a Christian, and that’s all that matters.

coffee-828885_1280

Wrong. We’ve got it all gravely wrong if we think God’s Word was meant to be printed on coffee mugs. Please – display the Word of God for all to see, but not because it’s an easy way to look like a Christian.

Easy Christianity is buying a Christian coffee mug. But it’s not true Christianity.

Jesus spoke that people might be changed, not accessorized. That his glory might be seen in power, not belittled and sold for profit. The Word of God is living and active. If we bear it lightly, we bear it in vain, and to our shame. If we can’t bother to feed from it or love it or even read it, how dare we wear it like a good-luck charm and pretend that it gives us some kind of new identity?

Those who have a new identity don’t need key chains and T-shirts to say so. If they buy a Scripture frame, it’s because the Word brings them incomprehensible joy which has effectively spilled over into every corner of their lives. And if they carry a coffee mug with the very words of God printed on it, they also carry those words loaded up inside them, ready to spew them out at the nearest unsuspecting stranger.

Because that’s what the Word of God does, and that’s what a true Christian looks like. No coffee mug necessary.

[image credit: pixabay.com]


20 thoughts on “the coffee mug Christian

  1. “Please – display the Word of God for all to see, but not because it’s an easy way to look like a Christian….

    Jesus spoke that people might be changed, not accessorized…..

    If they buy a Scripture frame, it’s because the Word brings them incomprehensible joy which has effectively spilled over into every corner of their lives. And if they carry a coffee mug with the very words of God printed on it, they also carry those words loaded up inside them, ready to spew them out at the nearest unsuspecting stranger.

    Because that’s what the Word of God does, and that’s what a true Christian looks like.”

    Yup!

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  2. I guess you could say one of my pet peeves is taking God’s Word out of context, but you are so right that when it’s displayed like an accessory, it’s almost as bad, isn’t it! Thanks for reminding us what’s really important … to have His Word in our hearts and flowing out to others. I’m visiting from Coffee Shop Conversations today. Have a great week-end!

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  3. I have words all over the house for others to see not that I am a Christian but maybe, just maybe a word will plant a seed in their hearts when they visit. I have a big plaque on one of our fireplaces that almost everyone who visits comments – it’s the fruit of the spirit – even the Direct TV man commented and didn’t know what they are so I shared.

    I have it in my heart too memorizing scripture each week and yes there is a little picture holder with my verse printed out over my sink and in the bathrooms and also a plate so that I can sink it in my heart, mind and soul and so others and my family will see it when we are doing dishes or going to the bathroom.

    My coffee cup this morning brings me joy. It says, “Because He bends down to LISTEN I will pray as long as I have breath. Psalm 116:2.

    “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)

    I wrote about that verse this week in a blog titled Pass It On. If we don’t the World will.

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  4. Hi Lydia: I love scripture inspired art and chachkies – especially mugs! I was nervous for a minute there when reading your post – but I get your point. Thanks for sharing. I’m visiting from WholeHearted Home linkup! Have a blessed week.

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  5. A good word, Lydia. I bristle at trite sayings that are intended to represent Jesus. Easy Christianity may be comfortable, but it’s not full and rich and blessed. Thanks for sharing this at Faith ‘n Friends Blog Hop.

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  6. Lydia! Wow! This was a WORD! Thanks so much for sharing. I completely get what you mean. Paraphernalia takes the place of reading God’s word in many of our lives. This was a very thought-provoking read! Thank you!

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  7. Interesting post Lydia! A mug is one thing… how about when that same thing is done with tattoos… Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking posts with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth.

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  8. Fantastic post, Lydia. We recently left a church because of the abundance of what you could call “coffee cup Christianity.” There were a lot of people excited about being Christians, and they had the merchandise (especially t-shirts marketing the church) to prove it, but the faith we saw lived out was shallow at best. We wanted to go deeper into the Word, and unfortunately that meant finding another church. The sad state of affairs is that American Christianity has become so commercialized (and dare I say it, even for authors) that I wonder if Jesus would even recognize it. Yes, it is wonderful to have scriptural reminders to keep God in the forefront of our minds, but that can never be enough. Thank you for your wise exhortation! Glad I found you four posts over from me on Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart.

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  9. There’s an even greater danger when the person carrying the Bible verse emblazoned coffee mug doesn’t act the way a Christian should. A poor representation by one who’s accessories scream “Christian” can become a stumbling block for others to follow Christ. Carrying the mug won’t make you more like Christ, but drinking in the Word can. It’s when we actually “put on Christ,” that our actions will portray His character and make others want to know about Him! Great, thought provoking post! Blessings, liz

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  10. This might seem harsh, but I’ve thought of Christian book stores as Christian junk-food: A lot of stuff that will temporarily fill you up but ultimately has little substance. I like your statements about being an accessorized Christian and I think it can be true for a lot of people. Obviously that’s not to say there isn’t some good to those things, but that they only matter if they come from a place of true knowledge and understanding of God’s word. Thanks for these thoughts!

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