I want to be cool. I want people to look at me and say, "Nate is cool. I really want to hang out with him." I want my non-Christian friends to say, "Wow. Christians can be cool." But I think there is a problem with this. I think that we have exchanged being genuine with being cool.
Donald Miller says it well in his book Blue Like Jazz:
"I was wondering the other day, why it is that we turn pop figures into idols? I have a theory, of course. I think we have this need to be cool, that there is this undercurrent in society that says some people are cool and some people aren't. And it is very, very important that we are cool. So, when we find somebody who is cool on television or on the radio, we associate ourselves with this person to feel valid ourselves. And the problem I have with this is that we rarely know what the person believes whom we are associating ourselves with. The problem with this is that it indicates there is less value in what people believe, what they stand for: it only matters that they are cool. In other words, who cares what I believe about life, I only care that I am cool. Because in the end, the undercurrent running through culture is not giving people value based upon what they believe and what they are doing to aid society, the undercurrent is deciding their value based upon whether or not they are cool."
I don't want people to see cool in me, I want them to see Jesus in me. I don't know if Jesus would be described as cool. So am I somehow weakening Christ's message through me by trying to be cool? Am I lessening Christ's work through me by worrying more about being cool than looking like Jesus.
My other issue is that by attempting to be cool we mask who we really are. I don't think anyone is cool. Deep down I think that we are all insecure, self-conscious people. We all see the failure of our life and to mask it some of us attempt to be cool. That was OK for me when I wasn't following Christ, because I didn't have anything to find my identity in. My identity was found in what people thought of me and how cool I was. But now my identity is found in Christ. I don't have to mask it. I shouldn't mask it. But I do. I have fallen into the trap of wanting to be cool.
Cool IS cool. The problem is that cool is not always genuine nor does cool truly reflect Christ.