“One o’clock and all’s well!” My favorite scene from my favorite Disney movie. I have recently become a father and I have rediscovered the Disney classics. Now that I am older that scene from Robin Hood is no longer between Nutsy and The Sheriff, but now it’s between Festus from Gunsmoke and Mr. Haney from Green Acres. Those voice actors starred in those roles on TV for several years, and now that’s all I can see when I hear that scene. Isn’t it funny how we can see an actor or actress in one long running role and they will forever be typecast as that person? Hugh Laurie will always be Dr. House, Matt LeBlanc is forever Joey, and Randy Quaid is Cousin Eddie. No matter who those actors portray, they have been typecast to always be House, Joey, and Eddie. You know, we should be that way as well. Paul writes to us in Ephesians 4:24 and says, “and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” The idea Paul has when he says to “put on the new self” is like putting on a garment. You know each of those actors I mentioned have a signature outfit or accessory. Cousin Eddie’s hat, House’s cane, or Joey’s hair. You catch a glimpse of any of those things and you immediately think of the character. What about us? What do we put on spiritually everyday that points to what we believe? Do my co-workers see Jesus like they see Joey in Matt LeBlanc? How about the way I speak? Do they hear the Gospel like I hear Mr. Haney in Robin Hood, or can they not make the connection? Hebrews 12 starts with, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” I want to be typecast as someone who walks, talks, and lives like Jesus so much that there isn’t a discernible difference. There are too many “witnesses” that are watching too closely for us to be anything else. Lay aside those things which keep us from “putting on the new self,” and embrace your role as a Christ follower. The stakes are too great for us to “play any other part.”

– Matthew Durham is the pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church

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