Why is it that some people who used to paint the town red now spend their time painting their church beige? God hates beige. There’s an enemy lurking around your back door and his name is ‘average’.

People who once excelled in their hedonistic lifestyles now sit pleasantly in the 20th row blending nicely into the background of church life. Whatever happened to them? What does salvation do to people’s pizzazz? People who once showed creative genius in different forms of stealing, robbing, lying and cheating have now become good people – very good, but very, very boring.

Strewn at the foot of the cross are not only the weeds and roots of sin, but also the fertile soil around which the roots entwined. Bits of personality, stones of creativity and strands of ingenious family history lie abandoned. It’s time to go back to the cross and take back the stuff we should never have jettisoned.

THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION
The spirit of religion is designed to keep us colour blind. Everything in life is black or beige. Religion majors on sacrifice, seriousness and striving. It de-personalises and de-motivates; reducing everyone and everything to a backdrop of magnolia.

It’s time to ban beige. Go on a beige watch. Make red, not beige. It’s true that sparkle, passion and pizzazz need to be severed from the motivations that once drove their users to selfish gain, but it’s our role to make sure that they’re not left abandoned at the Jordan of the Promised Land. We want them reconnected to a new heart resulting in the mighty accelerations of the dreams of heaven. Pizzazz is our Christian heritage.

Here are some poignant expressions to live by …

• beige sky at night, devil’s delight
• come out from the beiges of history or there’ll be beige to pay
• get a clean beige of health
• don’t ever visit beigeing (sorry!)
• stop being the beige sheep of the family
• catch someone beige handed

Whoever heard of Mercy Beige, the Beige Street Boys or Cilla Beige anyway?

THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE
When enthusiastic people get saved they can become their own worst enemy. Their enthusiasm in hating sin and hating its penetration into their soul can result in both a hatred for sin and a hatred for who they had been, while they sinned. They fail to separate the gift (of being fearfully and wonderfully made) from the motivation (a deceptive heart) and ditch both at the foot of the cross. They then proceed to live a Christian life that’s reduced to the realm of sacrifice and duty and adopt a personality and disposition that neither suits them nor agrees with them. Many eventually go on to have a Christian mid-life crisis. It’s a crisis of personal identity, not positional identity. It’s time for us to reconnect the sparkle of inner identity with their new identity that was won for them through the cross and resurrection.