I have the blessing of being in a homeschool support group called PAJCH. PAJCH in many ways is like a family. We exist to help and support one another, whether students or parents. We do fun stuff like go on field trips, have holiday parties, and sometimes we just hang out at a nearby park. With all of that aside, the biggest thing to do in PAJCH is to be part of our annual theatrical production. We have for the last few years performed a musical each Spring at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center. There are a lot of awesome people that help make it possible for this to happen and to keep it going for years to come. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for all of these people. There is a piece of advice that applies to every actor in any theatrical production. Those of us who participate in the production usually hear this advice in some form or another every year. The piece of advice is this, “become your character.” To do your best you must try to think like your character, talk like your character, and sing like your character.
What does acting in a play or performing in a musical have to do with your spiritual life? Some people claim to be Christians when in fact they are only acting like Christians. I am not merely talking about our religious neighbors in the denominational world. Some Christians are acting. What do I mean by that? Partly, I mean they act one way on Sunday and act a different way Monday through Saturday. They act a certain way depending on their audience. In the theatre, you have to be your character the entire time for every audience at every performance. Otherwise, people can see right through you, and that returns them to reality instead of keeping them inside the story. Some Christians are really good actors. They “play” the part of a Christian really well on Sunday, but if you look at their lives Monday through Saturday, they are playing a completely different part. Brethren, God does not want you to act like a Christian on Sunday, and then live your life any way you want during the rest of the week. God wants us to be on fire for Him or against Him as Jesus stated in Revelation 3:15-16. Lukewarm in this passage might be considered as just “playing the part” of a Christian some of the time instead of being faithful all of the time. God wants us to be Christians every day as Jesus made clear in Luke 9:23: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me.” Notice the word I gave emphasis to in that verse. We all have a “part” to play in God’s plan, and we need to play this part EVERY DAY!
Admittedly, there are times when it is hard to play your character in the play or musical. You may have to talk louder, stand a different way, and use bigger facial expressions than you normally would. It often requires getting out of your comfort zone. God wants us as Christians to be different than the norms of the world, as Paul made clear in Romans 12:2. That means we have to talk, think, dress, and treat others as Christ would. If you play your character in a performance well, you will stand out and be praised by the audience and director. If you are a faithful Christian, you will shine your light to the world as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:16, and the praise will be given to your Heavenly Father. Make no mistake, God will also reward those who are faithful to Him and play their part well according to Revelation 2:10.
We sometimes mess up when we perform in the theatre. We may skip a line, sing the wrong note, or have our backs to the audience, but we learn from our mistakes and try to get better at playing our character. Christians, our adversary will not make playing our part easy and even wants to eat us up according to I Peter 5:8. We will sin from time to time and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23. However, God is willing to forgive us when we confess our sins to Him and strive to do better – I John 1:9. Let us not simply act like Christians on Sunday. Instead let us play the part God has given us, and strive to be better Christians for Him each day as Paul made this his goal – Philippians 3:14. If we play the part God has given us to play, then He will reward us with an eternal home with Him, and that will be better than any standing ovation we might get in this life.