LENT 2016 - 4

Action man… not!


The swing tag is from a Fat Face top that I got as a birthday present from my daughters. Who would have thought that there would be a company called Fat Face and a successful one at that!


I guess you would call it a lifestyle brand… that suggests that its origin is in that outdoorsy, surfing, action type lifestyle. That’s just not me… although, I do buy in to that false image of me that I think that I can pull off!  I remember organising our church’s first youth camp and thinking that I needed to wear something trendy so I dug out a couple of things that had recognised labels on them. I also had my North Face jacket with me which I don’t think has been out in anything more than a heavy shower even though it’s been tested in the wildest extremes that the world could throw at it,


Do you know, I don’t think that what the old guy was wearing mattered one jot to the kids!!


I’m no action man but I’d like to think that others might think of me as one. If we’re honest, we’re seduced by the marketing and have in our minds this image of a person that we would like others to think we are. How shallow and disingenuous is that?


My first real job was with the life assurance company, Standard Life. On the first day, I was sat down by the department manager, Johnny Simpson, and, as well as saying something about himself (he was a POW during the Second World War), he explained some things about the job. One thing he said was “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” Some might have taken this as him stamping his authority but he then went on to say, with some humility, that he wouldn’t always get it right – he admitted that he was human after all. That’s pretty honest, and actually, with Johnny, he didn’t actually get much wrong and he was the kind of person that you knew exactly where you stood with him. Nothing false, nothing hidden.


I’d much rather have that relationship with others than one that is mired with hidden agendas, one-upmanship, getting your own way, selfish ambition and so on. And I’d like others to have that same relationship with me… maybe, that’s another disillusioned thought… if only we could see ourselves as others see us!


Talking about Jesus, 1 Peter 2:22 says “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (NIV).  Other translations will use what I think is a much better word for deceit and that is the word “guile”… there was no guile found in him. One dictionary puts its meaning as “insidious cunning in attaining a goal; crafty or artful deception; duplicity”. Sadly, we can all have a touch of this around us at times.


So… in a roundabout way, the Fat Face swing tag challenges me to be like Jesus… genuine, trustworthy, honest, sincere, unpretentious, reliable, known for integrity, speaking the truth (in love) – surely that is our goal!

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