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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - How To Be Real

James Meehan - How To Be Real

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    James Meehan - How To Be Real
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Integrity

Savannah: First, we got the big question. Are you ready?

James Meehan: I'm ready.

Savannah: Okay, big question. How do you be real?

James Meehan: Step number one, download the app "Be Real".

Savannah: Nope.

James Meehan: Step number one, don't be fake.

Savannah: Okay, sounds simple enough.

James Meehan: And here's why I say, that because it's hard to actually wrap our minds around what being real looks like.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: Because it can seem like a sort of like nebulous abstract thing but it's really obvious when we're being fake.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: When we're pretending to be somebody that we're not, when we're saying things that aren't actually true, when we are starting to dress in ways that we don't even like.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: Just because we hope that other people will like us.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: And so what I would start with is, if you wanna be real, start by not being fake.

Savannah: Yeah, I would honestly say mean what you say, and say what you mean.

James Meehan: Come on.

Savannah: Just like what you were saying is, don't dress this way, don't talk this way that you're not, people are gonna see that, you're gonna feel that.

James Meehan: Yeah.

Savannah: And it's gonna be hard for you to walk confidently in the person that God has made you to be when you're trying to fit into this mold that you were never meant to fit into.

James Meehan: Dang, come on somebody. And I think what's so important is God created you.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: To be you. If he wanted you to be somebody else, he would've made you somebody else.

Savannah: Right.

James Meehan: The Apostle Paul talks about the body of Christ the church as this collection of different body parts that all work together to reflect the goodness of God.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: And God doesn't want everybody to be an elbow because if the entire body was an elbow, it would look funny and it would not operate the way it's meant to. And so God needs elbows.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: He needs wrists. He needs shoulders, head, shoulders, knees and toes. Like all of it. All of the body parts, all of it has to work together.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: In order for the body of Christ to be the body of Christ.

Savannah: Right.

James Meehan: And you are a part of the body. You've been given gifts, you've been given perspectives. The way that you are wired, the family you come from, your experiences, all of that shapes you into who you are and all that can be used to show God to the world.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: And also to show God how much you love Him. So don't be fake. Say what you mean and mean what you say. And then the last thing I would suggest is to follow Jesus.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: Because Jesus is the most real person there ever was, right? He was never.

Savannah: Period.

James Meehan: You know, playing a show for this group of people or pretending to be somebody different for this group of people. Jesus lived with integrity.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: That means He was fully integrated. He was one person. He wasn't trying to do all of these different things to get people to like Him. He was living His entire life on purpose, for the purpose that God had given Him.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: And if we follow Him, then the cool thing is, is He's gonna show us how we are to be real. How we are to live into the identity that we've been given. I would suggest that the majority of the time when we're trying to be somebody we're not is because we are insecure about who we are. And if you want to have security in your identity, then the more time you spend with Jesus, the more you'll discover that He loves you just as you are.

Savannah: Yeah.

James Meehan: That He literally laid down His life so that you could be one with Him. And that doesn't mean that you could become somebody else to then be one with Him, but literally just as you are. While we were still sinners, Christ Jesus died for us. And I think that's what Jesus would show you, if you commit to following Him, to spending time with Him, to surrounding yourself with biblical community, other people that will repeat to you what God has already spoken.

Savannah: So good.

James Meehan: And so our recommendation, if you wanna be somebody who's real, is to not be fake.


To say what you mean and mean what you say.


And thirdly, to follow Jesus because He's gonna show you the way to live that is true to who you are and who you're meant to be.

So good, I don't know if y'all are ready. Were y'all taking notes? 'Cause that's how you're gonna be real. All right, let's...

If you don't take notes, then you're a fake.

Nope, that's not what we said.

I mean, I said it.

Not what we mean.

So wait, hold up. If I'm gonna say what I mean and mean what I say, then where does sarcasm fit into all of that? Am I allowed to do that?

That's gonna have to be another Culture Maker for another day.

Maybe in the comments down below, let us know.


Is there space in the kingdom of God for sarcasm? If there's not, I'm in trouble.

So let's jump in to all the things happening in culture. First and foremost, you kind of mentioned it earlier, Cartoon Network. Can we please talk about it?

We need to.

I am really sad.

Yeah, let's take a moment of silence.

That was a good moment. So tell me how you feel.

I'm not done.

Okay. 30 years, over 30 years?


Of Cartoon Network existing, all these shows. I grew up on Cartoon Network. Did you grow up, watching Network?

Oh, 100%. Cartoon Network was my childhood.

Okay, tell me what your favorite show was.

So back in the day, Cartoon Network would do this thing.

Way back in the day.

Yep, back in the day, Cartoon Network would do this thing called Toonami, where every day after school, for a few hours, they would play anime. And that is when I was first introduced to the likes of "YuYu Hakusho," "Dragon Ball Z," "Dot Matrix," these incredible shows that really did shape and define my childhood.


I remember coming home from school almost every day and at this point in my life, I was probably, oh boy, I think I was in kindergarten or preschool, and my dad had busted his knee really bad. And so I'd come home from school every day and we would just sit on the couch and watch "Dragon Ball Z" together.

That's so sweet.

And it was absolutely amazing. Not only is it entertaining, but it taught me to work hard, to not give up when I get knocked down but to keep coming back for more. And you know, maybe if I try really hard, and I grunt really loud, my hair will be spiky and gold.

You know, you're like halfway there. You're doing great. Is that what this look is?

I refuse to respond.

So my favorite show was "Powerpuff Girls," hands down.


Not at all. Are you kidding me?

So here's the thing. It was probably not bad, but as a like five-year-old boy.


A show called "Powerpuff Girls".

You were too cool to watch that.

'Cause they were made with like everything, like what was it? Like sweet and spice and everything nice?

And everything nice.

As a boy, I'm like, "No, that's not cool".

Oh my goodness. Are they gonna like start streaming things? I have a lot of questions.

Well, so here's. So here's the important thing. Cartoon Network is merging with WB Warner Brothers.

Okay, cool.

And so it's likely that you'll still be able to find it in certain places.


It, I just don't really know. I haven't done that much research, so. So if you know more about what's happening and where to find these incredible shows. Let us know in the comments down below. Because Savannah really wants to go back and relive her childhood of "Powerpuff Girls".

I really do.

Billy Eilish, she was caught holding hands with...

Oh, how?

Jesse Rutherford.

How dare she?

What do you mean how dare she? Public handholding?

This is she. Bye, I can't, I love this for her.


And so let's them hold hands. I hope that they get to know each other and fall in love and all the happy things.


You probably don't care at all, do you?

No, I want people to have great fulfilling relationships.


I have just seen a track record of celebrity relationships not being great and fulfilling but often being...

That's fair.

Really superficial. And so I hope that they can move past that.


You know, and I think what's hard for people like that is, their life is so in the public eye.


That for them to actually be able to have intimate moments, to just get to know each other beyond their public persona, I think could be really challenging.

So to be real.

To be real, right. That's really good. Because they've constantly gotta think about the image they're projecting to the world.


And I think what's really interesting is when we think about this relationship between Billie and Jesse, it's kind of similar with our relationships with other people in the sense that, when you are first getting into a relationship with somebody, you are putting on your best. Like you wanna show them all of the best parts of you so that they will find you attractive and they will find you as somebody that they want to get to know more. And while there's not really anything wrong with that, the problem becomes when you don't start to actually invite them in to see the real you.


Like, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be well-dressed, that you shouldn't be freshly showered, that you shouldn't have deodorant on, that you shouldn't be polite on a first, second, third, fourth, fifth date.

Are you speaking from experience? That was very specific.

I did all of those things. Yeah, 100%

Okay, good. And you still do all of those things. Yeah, 100%, and I've been married for six years.

Still wearing deodorant.

Still wearing deodorant.

Okay, good.

My wife's deodorant.

Clarity is important.

Well, so here's the thing. I've got really sensitive armpits. Let me make my point.

Okay, go for it.

Here's the point is that, when you're in a relationship with somebody, what typically happens is in the beginning, you try really, really hard...


To show them that you're a good person and a good match.


And then over time, you start to get comfortable, and you kind of stop trying. And the real you comes out. Here's my challenge for you if you are in a romantic relationship, is do your best from the beginning to be a great person.


And then when you start to get more comfortable, don't stop trying to be your best. Keep bringing your best, day in and day out. I think the difference between relationships that are really strong and long lasting, is that those people keep trying and showing up and saying, "I'm gonna bring my best to you".


I'm gonna be real. I'm not gonna hide the the things about me that maybe aren't quite as attractive or appealing but I'm gonna do my best every day to love and serve you.


So that's my advice for you.

So the next thing that we have...

I hope Jesse was taking notes.

Protestors throwing tomato soup on van Gogh's painting. Can we please talk about it?


I know you have a lot of thoughts.

Whoa, wow. Are you saying I'm an opinionated person?

That's a great thing. Let's hear it. We wanna know your opinion.

So if you don't know, Vincent van Gogh, world famous painter has painted a lot of things that have sold for lots and lots of money. And like Savannah was saying, this group of protestors who is wanting to show the damage that fossil fuels have on the environment, decided to illustrate that by damaging this priceless painting from the artist, Vincent van Gogh.

Attempting to damage.

Attempting to damage. Whatever it was that actually happened.


I would suggest that if you are trying to make a point, if you're trying to get people to buy into this thing that you care about, then don't do it in a way that's gonna make everybody angry.


Right, like if I want you to be a part of whatever this thing is that I care about, then I should probably communicate it in a way that will actually make you want to care.


In a positive way. Not care because you're really upset by the obnoxious things that I'm doing.


And you know, I think this really applies well to our faith as followers of Jesus. As we have seen the examples of people who are jerks for Jesus. And let me be very clear, if your goal is to show people the love of God and you do that by being a jerk, you've completely missed the point.


Because the way of Jesus is a way to find by love and grace and mercy and compassion. Yes, truth and justice and rightness are a part of it.


But if we just take a little bit of this, then what's gonna end up happening is we're gonna cause people to actually want nothing to do with Jesus or the good news that He's invited us into, and so.

You can have passion without having anger.

Yeah, come on. Come on somebody.

That is what was missing in this moment of trying to get their point across.

Yeah, I mean, James tells us that we should be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry.


Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.


And so, yeah, like there are gonna be some things in this world, it may be for you, is like the environment and the way people don't at all seem to care about the environment. That just gets you really passionate and fired up. And that is a good thing to care about.


Because as human beings, we've been created to care for and cultivate all of creation as His image bearers.


And so care about it, but figure out how to care about it in a way that's actually gonna invite other people to want to be a part of this greater cause.

And honor God.

And honor God. Come on, because like, doing the right thing in the wrong way, ends up being the wrong thing. Okay, I'm down with that one.

No, that's a good word. Challenge of the week.

Are you ready? We want to challenge you, Culture Makers, to take an inventory of, how have you acted in this past week? Are you being real? Are you trying to fit in a box that you were not made to fit in?

Come on.

Are you being passionate without being angry? Are you honoring God in the way that you're living and the way that you're speaking? And through relationships with other people? That is our challenge.

Yeah, absolutely. Because we wanna be Culture Makers. Yeah, not culture fakers.

There it is, that's good.

And we really do believe that developing the wisdom to be thoughtful.


To think about what we do, what we say, how we live, is a really important factor in actually becoming the kind of people who can influence culture for the better instead of just getting wrapped up in all of the chaos and the noise.


And so take an inventory this week, ask yourself, "Was I kind? Was I loving? Was I gentle? Was I gracious? Was I true? Was I real"? And if you weren't, come up with a plan to do better in the future.


And know that every single step of the way God's not mad at you, He's not disappointed in you.


He is continually inviting you to know more about who he is and the love that he offers.

And if I could add one more thing to that is...


Just kidding, of course you can.

Just like you said, like there's gonna be moments where, maybe you did try to be something that you're not, or talk in this way or fit in with this group, or you're just gonna fall short of whatever being real is.

Yeah. Or being who God called you to be. But every moment try to keep moving forward.

Come on.

Don't stay in that. Don't say that, "Well I messed up and now this is who they think I am. Or this is who I should be and I'm just gonna exist in this space". No, say what you want. Say that, "I want to be real". Say that, "This is who I am and this is who God called me to be". And keep moving forward because we're never supposed to be in one space on this side of heaven. We're always supposed to keep growing and continuing to live just like Jesus lived.

Come on, that's so good. Well thank you so much for joining us on this week of Culture Makers. Make sure to comment down below the things that I talked to you about earlier. I'm not gonna try to remember it 'cause I'll mess it up. But with that being said...

All the things.

You know that we'll be back next week. We've got other YouTube shows that happen throughout the week. And so if there's somebody in your life that needs to hear anything we talked about.


Or just need some good news and encouragement, make sure you share with them the Switch Youth YouTube channel.

Absolutely, see you guys.

See you.
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