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What’s your why?

Mark Twain once famously said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” I’ve read this quote countless times thanks to my doctor who has it framed on his office wall. Every time I’m there for a visit, I take a moment to reflect on the words and meditate on this question: “What’s my why?”

The answer to this “what’s my why?” question came clearly to me over a decade ago – know Jesus and make Him known.The moment I became a born again believer I knew Jesus was my why and, ever since, I’ve accepted that fact without thinking about it excessively. That is, until I logged onto Match.com.

Yes, it’s true, I’ve ventured back into the online dating world, a place I vowed to never return again. And, yet, here I am, trying to craft the right 4,000 word or less autobiography that covers important facts without removing all the “mystery” (a balance I’m sure I haven’t struck yet.) While writing my “about me” section I’ve typed, deleted, retyped and redeleted at least three times and yet one line has survived every edit and redo: know Jesus and make Him known. I could delete every other line and just leave that one. It is that encapsulating of who I am, what my why is and, as Mark Twain would say, why I was born.

What has shocked me about the online dating world is how few men who claim to be in the “Christian” category seem to share this same Christ-centered why.

That’s not to say I expect every man of God to convey his faith with the precise words “know Jesus and make Him known.” There are other words and sentences that would relay the same message. But the vast majority of “Christian” men have little to say about Jesus and absolutely nothing to say about their why being directly connected to their relationship with Him.

More often than not, the message conveyed in these profiles has to do more with a passion for sports than personal salvation and sanctification. A common mission seems to be eating tacos and pizza till death does him part (which will be sooner rather than later if that’s his exclusive diet). Half of the men seem to include at least one picture with a beer can and another mirror shot taken while flexing at the gym. Their life goals include fishing, traveling the world (for what I assume is pleasure and not missions) and “seeing the northern lights” (a stock response to the beloved bucket list question).

It’s not that there is anything wrong with sports, tacos and pizza (in moderation), a beer every now and then, a regular gym routine or fishing, traveling and seeing the northern lights but when worldly pass times outshine eternal pursuits, that’s a spiritual red flag. When Christian hobbies and meal preferences are the focus while life’s big “why” remains nonexistent, I’d say that “Houston, we have a problem.”

And a problem is indeed what we have not only in the online dating world but in the American church world as a whole.

It has become apparent to me over the past week while scrolling through online dating profiles that American Christians have lost their way and, in turn, their why. We have, in large part, become deluded, watered down and, essentially, unrecognizable. As an overall body of believers, Christians have become a reflection of the culture with a little church mixed in instead of a repudiation of the culture with a lot of Christ poured in.

As God’s people, Christ’s ambassadors as I like to think of us, we were made for more than worldly pursuits and frivolous activities. We were saved in order that we would live a new life – not the old life with a new name tag. Our salvation came at the highest price, the life of God’s one and only Son, and demands our unconditional surrender. We are in the world, but we aren’t supposed to be of it. We were created to stand out. We were born with a why bigger than our personal likes and dislikes. We were born to know Jesus and make Him known with every fiber of our being and breath in our lungs.

The Bible says that the way is narrow and, as followers of the way, our why should be narrow, too. It should run counter to the world’s materialistic, pleasure seeking culture. Our lives should reflect He who purchased our freedom on the cross. This is why we were created. This is why we were saved. This is why we were born – to be beacons of Christ’s light in a dark world.

Although my latest foray into the online dating world hasn’t produced any dates and isn’t looking so hot in the message exchange department either, it has yielded this fruit: a refreshed “why” and reinvigorated committed to know Jesus and make Him known. And, for that, I would consider my online dating experience thus far a great success.