There’s a phenomenon that I bump into maybe once or twice a month, which occasionaly manifests itself in ordinary spoken conversations, but is usually found on Internet social networking sites. And since I’ve never seen anyone else identify/ isolate/ name said Internet sensation, I’ve decided to refer to it as being holified.
What does it mean to holify someone? Well, the holifier is a relative of the “story-topper” or “one-upper”—you know, the guy who always has to out-do you in conversation. If you got two speeding tickets in one week, he talks about the time he got three. You had painful surgery on your foot; she had the same surgery twice, and the second time, they left a pair of snips inside her big toe, which then became infected. If you say which ‘80s punk bands you like, he scoffs and explains how none of those are really punk, then schools you on which bands you should like. Story toppers are very versatile; they will one-up your story no matter the topic or context.
Holifiers, on the other hand, are more specialized. They also can strike at any time, regardless of the subject being discussed, but they only spew uber-spiritual stuff. This leaves the one holified with the implied message that he hasn’t been holy enough in how he has expressed himself or even in his topic of conversation.
This may all sound absurd and quite random, like nothing you’ve ever encountered before. Let me show you some concrete examples, and I’m sure you’ll recognize when you yourself have been holified!
It often starts with a quote, quip, or inside joke to which the holifier is not privy. For example,
Facebook status: “Do you ever just get down on your knees and thank God that you know me and have access to my dementia?” [this, of course, is a quote from George Castanza on Seinfeld]
Comment/response: “I thank God that I know HIM and have access through Jesus Christ!”
You’ve just been HOLIFIED!
Do you see how, even though you weren’t actually talking about gratitude or heavy spiritual matters, all the same you sort of look like the jerk now? I mean, compared to what that second guy is thankful for, your thing just looks downright irreverent, am I right?
Some more examples:
Facebook status: “I hate it when people cut you off in traffic because they’re texting, applying makeup, and eating at the same time.”
Comment/response: “Hate? How is that Christ-like? They only text while driving because they are in dire need of sound doctrine and religious conversion. You should be on your knees praying for these people, not on facebook complaining about them!”
Facebook status: “Check out this video; Mark Driscoll is awesome.”
Comment/response: “No man is awesome; that belongs to GOD ALONE. Soli Deo Gloria!!!”
Facebook status: “I hate so much...of the things you choose to be.” [this, of course, is perhaps the funniest sitcom line ever, penned by Steve Carrel for The Office Season 2 finale]
Comment/response: “Maybe I'm just stupid, but I thought Jesus told us to LOVE our enemies last time I checked!” [This begs the question: do I need to love Toby Flenderson to be a good Christian—even though Toby is a fictional character and does not really, ya know, exist?]
Most of the holificiations I’ve encountered have been directed at other people’s statuses, tweets, etc., but I’ve been holified a good number of times. Of course, not every critical comment of a spiritual nature makes the cut. It must be at least somewhat passive-aggressive and come out of nowhere. If one is truly holified, it’s a straight-up topical ambush!
You get it, right? At this point, you probably think I want to hear examples of when you have been holified. You are correct, and bonus points if they took place OFF-LINE.
"The Form of a Servant" -- Isaiah 52:13-53:12 - Here's the audio from this morning's sermon: Click Here
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