It's funny how easily someone can spot a fake. I guess what I mean it is hard to spot a fake in a crowd of fakes. Just like it's harder to find a specific needle in a stack of needles. When looking for a needle in a hack stack all you have to do is jump in and wait for it to stab you. I think Jesus' name has been said with a lot of different motives and intentions, it's become a stack of needles now it's hard to find that same name but with honesty behind it. Sometimes we can read blogs, listen to songs, look at art and enjoy them and God still uses them. But it's so refreshing to see some things that are honest, real and pure.
Jesus' name has become like a celebrities name. People use it in jokes, stories and to name-drop. Name-dropping is when someone says they know someone when they really don't, they've just met them or something, but name-dropping gives them street-credit. People hear you say "I know Jennifer Anniston" and freak out, they give you more respect and for some reason want to know you better. That is how we treat Jesus. We drop his name for street-cred and respect when we might not actually know him personally. It's funny because if someone is truly friends with a celebrity they mention them only when they mean it. You can walk into a conversation and say "I know Brad Pitt" and say it to make friends or get people to remember you. But if you really knew Brad Pitt and someone was talking about funny stories about going to Wal-Mart, you would bring up the story of the time you and your friend Brad went to Wal-Mart. The difference is intentions. People all the time wear Jesus T-shirts, bracelets, hats and tattoos to make friends with other people that respect Jesus [not everyone that wears the Christian clothes have these intentions, but it happens a lot]. But people can tell when you really know him. I knew someone that wore the tackiest Christian T-shirts, but for some reason he pulled it off, everyone knew that it was genuine. Maybe because he wore them when he was in a secular hard-core band that played in bars or he had a certain demeanor to him. It may be hard to tell when someone is singing and name-dropping Jesus' name, but it certainly hits a chord [no pun intended] when they are singing with complete honesty, conviction and a desire to write the song to God instead of their Christian demographic.
There are about 10 songs I have ever heard with this honesty. I have heard a lot of songs that may have been written with honesty but performed and recorded to please people instead of please God. There is one recording of a song that has brought me to tears with their honesty and desire, that also makes me just dance and feel true joy, but the album version though almost similar seems tainted with record sales, producer opinions, and radio plays.
"Purity of heart is to will one thing" -Sören Kierkegaard
Sometimes we want good things but for wrong reasons or we attach our agendas along with them. Like I want to see people reconcile with their creator to experience true love, hope and joy but I want to be the person that introduces them. Kind of like how people want their friends to hear good music but they want to be able to say "I am the one that told you about that band". I think my will has been changing. I have been realizing how depressing it is to have more than one reason for doing something. It is very draining to do something with that mindset. I think that is why God says "love me with all your mind, heart and soul" and "you can't serve two masters".
I believe you can take any simple piece of art, whether it's music, film, painting, photography, etc and make it incredible with one intent. Having multiple intents is my definition of selling-out.
Honesty in friendship, one intention is also what makes some of the realest friendships. I have friends that talk to me about their struggles, fears and doubts and it gives me hope to know I am not alone. I think this is why Jesus says to "walk in the light". To be honest with each other. It's funny how many times we are trained as Christians to give the appearance of perfection. We assume that to have everything under control is what other Christians will look up to. So we put our skeletons in our closet, go to church or dinner with friends and just smile and wave. We don't let people know who we really are, which is flawed humans that need Jesus just as much as everyone else.
I read the Bible and read about Lot sleeping with his daughters [Genesis 19:30-36], Noah getting drunk [Genesis 9:20-23], Moses murdering an Egyptian [Exodus 2:11-15], King David breaking all of the Ten Commandments including having someone killed so he can sleep with the wife [2 Samuel 11]. The point of the Bible is to show that we are not made righteous by our prayer life, our devotions, our church-going, our friends, our ministry, our charity work, our abstinence from certain things, or our religious status, but by Jesus alone. When we stop believing that we need to attempt righteousness to become righteous and believe that Jesus makes us righteous, we should stop getting in the way and allow him to truly change our lives and make us righteous. When we think 'repent for our sins' we think repent from our hate, jealousy, gossip, lust, etc. I think that is only half of it, we should also repent from our charity work, Bible reading, praying, giving to the poor and everything else we do to try to make us righteous before God without Jesus Christ.
When I hear people, that haven't allowed Jesus to make them righteous, talk about Jesus I just hear a name, just the pronunciation of "GEE-sus Kr-YST". When I hear people say his name because he is their saviour, it begins to sound like a real person that walked the earth, instead of a name. If Jesus is your friend, your mentor, your teacher, your inspiration or anything else without first being your saviour, then you don't know him, you don't know his purpose for coming to this earth. When I hear it from people that know this I hear his name in association of the Lord that made me righteous, that reconciled me with God and showed me what true love, hope and joy look like.