Mixed signals can mean whatever we have to say for Jesus will be lost.
I thought of that as I heard a sermon about how important it is that Christians be all about mission. Not about self or ego. Set on fire with a desire to serve the least and the lost.
The preacher was wearing a beauitful robe with doctoral bars down the sleeves (that tells you that folks like me have a doctoral degree and are really important), and the lobby of the mega-church would have shamed the furnishings in the fanciest hotel. In his introduction of himself the preacher pointed out the academic degrees, honors and prestigous work roles of his children.
It's not about us - it's all about Jesus. Really?!
A friend attended a Christian concert by a woman who plays guitar -and sings- like an angel. He went to the lobby where her CD's were being sold, and the man managing the table snapped at my friend. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Made him feel stupid for asking a question about the woman's music and her web site. The music she sings is being drowned out by the lack of grace by the people on her team.
It's always more easy to see the mixed signals in other Jesus followers than it is to see how we say one thing and do another. Jesus says, in the Sermon on the Mount, that we are always ready to point out the wood speck in the eye of another person while being oblivious to the 2 x 4 in our own eye!
Here is the deal: people don't just pay attention to our words but they are watching the rest of our lives. Does this match up? Are they congruent?
None of us are perfect. All of us make mistakes. Each one of us is a sinner. One person struggles with gossip. Another with sexual sin. Another with ego. Another with a low-grade fever of greed so they never have enough.
But this business of sending mixed signals is really important.
Does the setting of your life match the words you speak for Jesus?