Where’s the Beef?
A while back I got a magazine from the college I attended with a note about the president’s address earlier this fall that was done in a series of three chapel talks based on the old Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” commercials. If you remember those ad, Clara Peller would repeatedly ask “where’s the beef” when she lifted the fluffy bun top off the burgers of various fast food companies. The problem was that they might look real good with those nice fluffy buns, but the real substance was lacking.
In the series of messages there was a challenge to be more than just “fluffy bun believers” but to really be “beefy believers.” In other words, bring substance into our lives.
Here are the three areas of substance that we need to focus in on.
1. Beef-Up in the area of Love
The people around us expect that we are going to be different. We are commanded time and time again in scripture to be people of love, even to the extent that we would express love to our enemies. However, sometimes it is hard to see whether or not we even love our own family let alone those who are against us. We need to “beef-up” our love for…
· One Another
· The Lost
· The Hurting
· Our Enemies
As one of those old “camp-fire” songs I used to sing so often says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
2. Beef-Up in the Area of Service
The meat of our lives is expressed in our service. How we respond to the needs around us will show the substance of who we are. Jesus did what needed to be done, even when it was hard, unpopular, and unappreciated. We need to stop whining…stop making excuses…and get engaged in serving. There are so many needs, we don’t have time to sit back and complain. Let the world see the servant in you…Jesus as He touches lives through you.
3. Beef-Up in the Area of Worship
Worship unashamed. This is more than just showing up to church on Sunday. It’s letting worship, praise, and appreciation flow in your life. It’s learning to give thanks—even in difficult circumstances. See, “fluffy-bun-believers” are all there for the music, preaching, and good feeling Sunday service…but real “beefed-up believers” learn to live a life where worship is real substance. They can say, with Job who had lost so much, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” They can shout “Praise the Lord!” as the hordes converge on them. They can whisper a prayer of thanks for the broken road they are on. They can sing “Blessed be your name” on roads marked with suffering and in the dessert place.
So there are three key ares – Love, Service, Worship—where we as believers could use some real substance…the beef of our lives. Look beneath the fluffy buns of our life…do you see beef, or are you wondering with those around you, where’s the beef.
What do you do if you find that you are more Fluff than Beef?
First, confess that, because it is not God’s will for you. Agree with God that you are not where you know He wants you to be in these areas. Step one in any road to recovery is to admit there is a problem.
Second, commit to turning from where you are to where He wants you to be. This is accomplished by seeking Him in Bible reading/study, prayer, worship, and service. Yes, as you do the things He’s asking you to do you will be continually getting closer to Him.
Third, recognize where you are so that when you begin to slip from time to time—and you will—you will be more aware of it and able to respond by getting back on track.
People around us are wondering, “Where’s the Beef?” They are looking—and longing—for the substance of what and who we are as followers of Jesus Christ. They are expecting us to be different and to offer them a better way then what the rest of the world offers. We can, but it means we need to “Beef-Up” as believers. So, let’s bulk up on what matters and let the substance be visible beyond the fluff.
(Dr. Thomas Kinchen is president of The Baptist College of Florida)