I Gotta Fever…And the Only Prescription is More __________________ (fill in the blank!)

Keith KettenringChristian Living, Fun Stuff, Motley Christian2 Comments

Christians are funny creatures. We think we’ve found everything we need in Jesus. But then, we clamor for one idea after another thinking it will bring fulfillment to our lives. We should be satisfied with all the Triune God is and supplies to us. But we are not.

Following what other’s say we need to do, we become confused by focusing on what’s supportive of the Christian life as if that one thing is the key to paradise.

This idea is well-illustrated by the classic SNL cowbell skit. (It’s too bad YouTube doesn’t have someone who provides the full skit.)

We become like Will Ferrell.


I’ve been clanging cowbells my whole Christian life. These cowbells are supposed to be minor additives which make the song sound fuller and more beautiful. Yet, they often become the focus of the performance resulting in a less than pleasing sound.

People tell me I need some “activity” guaranteed to move my Christian life to new heights. So, I try their idea hoping it will help me be a better Christian or will “change my life.”

However, it just becomes more noise. One more futile thing.

Clang! This is it! Clang! This is the key! Clang! This must be done to grow! Clang! Clang! Clang! More! More! More!

Live the exchanged life.

Do a short-term missions trip.

Pray the prayer of Jabez.

Know your identity in Christ.

Submit to Jesus.

Do journaling.

Memorize Bible verses.

Increase your stewardship.

Serve. Serve. Serve.

Believe this doctrine.

Speak in tongues.

Get involved in community.

Keep the Sabbath.

Have a charismatic experience.

Practice spiritual disciplines.

Do small groups.

Use essential oils.

Hire a spiritual director.

Go to Christian counseling.

Know your Enneagram number.

Attend the ________ Conference.

Listen to expository sermons.

Live an unhurried life.

Read through the Bible in a year.

Eat at Chik-Fil-A.

Read Tim Keller’s recent book.

Go on a silent retreat.

Join a non-denominational church.

Learn contemplative prayer.

Make yourself accountable to someone.

Live simply.

Do inner-healing prayer.

Shop Hobby Lobby.

Engage centering prayer.

Form a covenant group.

Find a mentor.

Visit a monastery.

Clang! Clang! Clang! More! More! More! More cow bell. Louder. Fill the space. More! Louder! Clang! Clang! Clang!

It’s obnoxious! It’s noisy! It’s unpleasant! It’s useless!

No activity by itself or as an end, even if it is a good one, brings fullness to our lives.

Stop clanging your cowbell(s)! You’re ruining the song.


2 Comments on “I Gotta Fever…And the Only Prescription is More __________________ (fill in the blank!)”

  1. Amen. I often feel the Christian cacophony is more distracting than Saturday at the mall. I googled Motley Christian because I had a thought of using the name for a band/ministry. Would you be offended? It is still in the planning stages and the aim is to attract the unchurched to hear the simple message and be exposed to some scripture in a non pressured setting. Some rock and roll, some rewritten rock, some Christian “radio play” worship music. I welcome any input.

    1. Hi Sean. Thanks for your message. I coined the label “Motley Christian” as an attempt to describe us Christians who are not so Christian in how we think and act. If we take any of Jesus’ words seriously we realize how motley we truly are. Anyway, I have no legal claim to the label so if you think it fits with what you’re wanting to do, use it. The important thing for you is to be the type of person who attracts people with your life in Christ that coincides with what you’re seeking to do with your band/ministry. May God guide you in your endeavors. Dr. K/Keith

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