Why I Appreciate C.J. Mahaney

Yesterday C.J. Mahaney preached at Grace Community Church in both the morning and evening services.  Cindi and I went to the evening service, where he preached on Hebrews 13:17—Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for this would be unprofitable for you.  I appreciate and respect C.J. for a number of reasons, and thought it would be appropriate to share a few of them here.

1. C.J. Mahaney is expressive.  In many conservative evangelical circles, we are very hindered in our personalities and emotions.  Sober-mindedness morphs into stoicism, and we act like spiritual robots.  Spirituality is almost equated with boredom.  Not C.J. Mahaney.  He lives out loud.  His commitment to truth is evident, his love for people is outspoken, and his passion for God is contagious.  I am personally very blessed by this because after being converted seven years ago, I have had to work hard at undoing a lot of personal, social, and spiritual inhibitions that I developed over the years, all stemming from a deep, pervasive, God-obscuring fear of man.  Although my personality is quite different than C.J.’s, he is an example to me in expressiveness, especially expressiveness in the things that matter most.

2. C.J. Mahaney is spontaneous.  Impulsiveness is part personality, part walking-by-the-Spirit.  In terms of one’s personality, spontaneity is not inherently godly or worldly.  It is amoral.  There are those who are naturally quite regimented and then there are those who wing it as a lifestyle.  However, Spirit-led spontaneity is important.  C.J. seems to live with an appropriate degree of this spontaneity without compromising his dignity.  He is not rash or indiscreet, but he does live in the moment, and seizes each moment as it comes.

3. C.J. Mahaney is unashamed.  Let’s be honest—C.J. is quirky.  He’s eccentric and unconventional.  But he is very obviously unashamed to herald the Gospel and to hold it high.  He lives with enthusiasm, leads with vigor, and preaches with passion.  If Christian living is more caught than taught, you will certainly catch it from C.J.

Praise God for men such as these.  May those who come after our generation be able to say the same and more about us.  This will not happen by accident.  Press on, all you who love the Lord Jesus Christ.


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