Remember the nursery rhyme where little boys are made of “snips, snails, and puppy-dog tails” while little girls are made of “sugar, spice, and everything nice”? More specifically (and less generically) what we are “made of” are individual picture blocks forming a profile of us. From the moment we see or hear about someone, even if it’s standing in line behind them in Walmart, we begin building a mental profile of that person. It may contain large blocks of what we’ve judged from their clothing, make-up, looks, and friendliness (or unfriendliness) or it may be made of thousands of blocks from a lifetime of knowing them.
My friend Chong and I usually drink our coffee at one particular Starbucks and over the last year we’ve enjoyed chatting with one of the regulars—a beach bum who works on his laptop, and we refer to him as the “Starbucks hippie guy.”
Last week he walked over and lay two copies of a book on our table, saying, “I thought I’d give you a copy of my new book.” Since I already have a copy I nearly fell off my stool as I gasped, “YOU are Jeremiah Johnson?” It turns out that he is my friend Jan’s pastor! I’ve heard a lot about him through her and she recently gave me one of his books specifically autographed to me, yet I never knew that my Starbucks friend was him! I still can’t wrap my head around it.
Profile blocks aren’t always true, some are created through gossip, other people’s opinions, prejudices, or even religion. Often, as we get to know a person better, we exchange blocks that aren’t true for ones that are. For example, a few years ago I met a woman who reminded me of someone I didn’t much like, so I immediately had blocks of prejudice as part of this woman’s profile. Then, as I got to know her, I began to change the blocks of prejudice into truth.
None of us see a completely true profile because of our filters, plus our blocks are limited to our relationship with that person. I had a profile for the Starbucks hippie guy and a separate profile for Jan’s pastor, and suddenly, in one fell swoop, both of those profiles exploded into one and blew my mind.
So, here’s the question—what does your profile of Jesus look like?
Just like everyone else, our profile of who Jesus is can have some blocks in it that aren’t true representations of him, blocks of religion, man’s doctrines, or a way we’ve interpreted an experience. It takes a while to get to know someone and to have most of the blocks be true representations of them, yet with Jesus we have a head start through the Bible.
The more you’re with Jesus the more intricate your picture becomes, and your blocks will represent your relationship with him. If most of your building blocks come through a filter of “Savior,” when people look at your profile of Jesus they will see blocks representing the cross, salvation, and the blood of Jesus. If you see Jesus as Master than your profile of him will contain pictures of obedience and service. Chong told me yesterday that by knowing someone we can pick out what God represents to them, for example, she told me, “You, Brenda, are love, love, love—your love for Jesus, but Jeremiah’s word (a pastor) is grace, grace, grace. My Korean pastor’s word is stewardship.”
However, the question isn’t about your filter of Jesus but how detailed is your profile of him?
Sometimes our profile of Jesus is made of blocks that are so skewed God will come and knock large pieces out and we start over. Or God may slowly remove individual blocks that are misconceptions so that we can replace them with truth.
Experiencing Jesus changes our few, vague blocks of love and compassion into multiple blocks from personal experience, so the closer you grow to Jesus the more unique and detailed your profile of him becomes.
Take a look at your profile of Jesus and see how many blocks you see, then relive a few of those times that stand out. Today, see if you can add another block, whether of experience, revelation, or a just a good time with him.
Let’s keep building!