By Alex Anderson
Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church –
I must admit that sometimes, for fun, I enjoy reading the “Artemis Fowl” book series by Eoin Colfer which was in fact written for children.
Mr. Colfer has done a masterful job at developing his characters. In my opinion he has done an especially good job with the sordid character Mulch Diggums. Mulch, who happens to be a very unsavory dwarf, lives a life of crime. What makes Mr. Colfer’s character so interesting is that Mulch Diggums is a conundrum. Though he is a bald-faced, unrepentant thief he is also very life-giving at times. He actually cares about others and will sacrifice his own needs or goals for the benefit of others, even though he is a criminal.
Now this is nothing new in character development, that is, to have a criminal be loved by the reader and to be life-giving in some of their character traits. The heroic outlaw Robin Hood in English folklore is much the same. The criminal, Mulch Diggums, is only life-giving because of one reason: Eoin Colfer, his creator.
Only Mr. Colfer knows how to bring the best out of this thief who tunnels under the foundations of the homes of the very wealthy and steals their heirlooms. Mr. Colfer is the master at changing Mulch’s heart at just the right time to cause him to be unselfish and help others without reward. Inside of Mulch Diggums’ character, his author built not the heart of a hardened criminal, but the real heart of someone who truly cares for others, a life-giving heart. Mulch’s life of crime does not really reflect who he is at heart, but since Mulch can’t seem to control himself, his creator, Mr. Colfer, puts him in situations that bring out the best in him. These are the scenes when we see who Mulch really wants to be. When he gets out of his own way…so to say.
I believe Christ-followers are much the same. Because our spirit has been created new in Christ through Holy Spirit’s transformation, we are different inside. We have the mind and heart of Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (VOICE)
However, we can have ‘strongly held’ lifestyles that keep Christ-followers from being our real life-giving selves. Sometimes we think more ‘Christian activity’ alone will change us and it does have short-lived benefits. Generally we still find ourselves acting out scenes we really wish we had not performed so well; such as white lies, unforgiveness, and the like. So we still need the one who created our character to write a new story line for us, one that fits who we really are…at heart.
We need a new scene in which we are set up for success, a scene that causes the life-giving nature inside of us to shine the best. Our “author” and creator always writes ahead of our current lines. He is looking at our current situations, then writing new scenes and lines to help us be life-giving. Scenes to live out and lines to speak that express our heart of love. At times, like Mulch Diggums, the new scripts may not be what we are used to or even what we want to do, yet, they are written by our loving author and creator for our best performance. He wants us all to have an Emmy Award or two for ‘best performance’ on our mantles at home. He loves us that way. He’s our biggest fan.
Unlike Mulch Diggums, we have something that Mulch does not have, a ‘human will’. And unlike Mr. Colfer, God can not and will not violate it. He can only work with it. And unlike Mulch we get to choose if we want to play along within the scenes our loving savoir is writing ahead of us. We can choose to play out the scenes by faith just as they come, or we can write our own.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote,
“It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become”.
You have scenes and lines waiting for you to play your best performance. Pray today and ask God to help you “get out of the way” and truly “be your best self”.
Make today your masterpiece!
And remember…Be Life-Giving,
To read other life-giving articles by Pastor Alex, go to http://belifegiving.blogspot.com/.