October 27th, 2019
A projector is something that casts forth an image. It’s a simple understanding that we all project some image, be it consciously or unconsciously. While if we are unaware of this, we may find that which we project isn’t in accordance to our desire and intent.
This is to say, we have a level of control over the image we cast and where we cast it. The determination of if we choose to put forth an effort, to exercise that control, is a matter of choice in itself.
Most of us have been in a situation where we have made the conscious decision that we will be strong for someone else who is going through pain or dealing with unpleasant situations. This most commonly takes place where we share in that struggle with those that we determine we must show strength to, even though we may be going through the very same struggle.
In unique situations, we may even be in the forefront of the struggle but still resolve that for the good of another, we will project strength.
When this conscious decision to project is intended to help others, it is a force of good. Likewise, when our conscious decision to project something is intended for our own personal gain, it can be less positive. That isn’t to say that we always must project in favor of others to be projecting honorably.
Okay, I’ll admit it, that ‘projecting honorably’ thing just kind of popped up. I’m not sure it is a thing at all, but it certainly makes sense to me.
There is a scriptural context to this concept however…
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.
Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)
If as I stated, we all project and we have a level of control over what we project then it stands to reason that what Paul coached the Ephesians to do, would also apply to us as well. Therefore, it would also apply to what we project!
We need to be careful of what we project, who it affects, and how it affects them.
There is a lot to consider in this but consider, we must. Jesus said…
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 18:6 (NLT)
While Jesus was speaking specifically about causing the fall of ‘these little ones’, it’s clear that He is serious about our influence on others. One of the primary ways we influence others is how we project.
If we walk into a room with a dark cloud tracking directly above us, anyone with a slight level of perception will get the impression that something is wrong. They may debate with themselves if you’re angry or just upset, but they can quickly see that you are not in a mood to be trifled with.
What difference would it make if we entered that same room, conscious of our projection and opted that we would project joy, or compassion, or curiosity? The entire demeanor of the room would be affected by our choice.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Galatians 6:2-5 (NLT)
This is getting to the heart of projection and our responsibility in this regard. If we are not our brother’s keeper, we at least have a clear responsibility to seek a means of holding up our brothers and sister in any way we can. This is without regard to our own personal feelings.
Where not to project
There is a projection we should consciously avoid at all costs. Not because the projection is damaging to the audience but because the projection is damaging to us and our relationship.
There was a clue in that paragraph, regarding what I’m talking about.
Most all of us tend to, without thinking in most cases, project our thoughts on God. The term putting God in a box is used at times, but what it means isn’t that we can entrap the almighty in any container of our own construction. No, it means that we define God based on our own bias, preference, and desires.
The Ten Commandments kicked off with these two entries…
“You must not have any other god but me.
You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.”
Exodus 20:3-4 (NLT)
When we project our own concept of God on Him, we violate both of these commandments because we have effectively created a graven image in the likeness of our desires and projected that on God placing it between us and Him.
God said we are to “not have any other god but me.” Yet without even thinking about it, we all seem to at times do God’s thinking, act on God’s behalf without God’s direction, or fabricate conditions where God would find acceptable, us doing what we want to do, regardless of if it is inside or outside of His will for us.
What we should be projecting
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
Jesus wants us to be His projectors; projecting His light, His Word, His Gospel, and His love.
In the Great Commission He is calling to each of us to be responsible for projecting His Good News to the world around us, in a manner that is projection on steroids. He calls for us to teach these new disciples everything that He has told us to be, say, and do!
We need to be aware of what we are projecting and to whom that projection is casting an image. If the image we project is a reflection of Christ Jesus, then we are in good company. If it is self-manufactured and focused, we damage ourselves and our witness.
We must consider what we are “Projecting”.
In His Grace!