It’s confusing when I see the Jesus believer presenting as an outraged, offended person.
A brother who has been insulted [offended] is harder to win back than a walled city, and arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace. -Proverbs 18:19
I often see these rant posts and hear conversations that are disheartening, the hopelessness, the “America is going to hell in a hand basket” outcries from mostly people in my parents’ age bracket. I think there is just so much more for them! They have such good hearts! I’m not sure how it’s gotten there, but this is what I see:
President bashing. Liberal bashing. On the flip side, conservative bashing. Name calling. Over concern with people’s sins, other religions, foreign policies, money, and an overall extremely unattractive sour tone of dissatisfaction. Why? I’m not quite sure. I’m not sure where it says in the Bible that we need to get angry and offended about these issues.
I could see us “picketing” for life and freedom, for the injustices taking place in our land. The abolition of slavery (including from the sex industry), the rights of the unborn baby in the womb, and the rights of the born baby on death row. I can see us fighting tooth and nail, interceding, and being full-blown activists for these people. Rescuing the famished. Adopting orphaned minors. Mentoring the fatherless. Encouraging the widow. Providing opportunity for the poor. Comforting the dying. Welcoming the refugees. Healing the brokenhearted. Yeah, that. I could see a whole slew of Mother Teresas, living radically to end injustice while still managing to spread hope and joy.
What I don’t quite grasp is why there are so many believers in that certain age group who are truly outraged and offended about a lot of things.
Maybe it’s the media they’re choosing, the shows on some of the channels that are constantly instilling paranoia, bigotry, hatred, discontentment, and, frankly, intellectually repulsive journalism. It takes maaaaaybe 5 minutes to hear an opinion being presented as a fact on a lot of those channels. It is unbiblical television, 100% NOT Philippians 4:8, 100% NOT Ephesians 4:29, 100% NOT the whole book of James. It’s divisive. It’s not bearing the fruit it should. Nobody is coming away feeling more patient, more kind, more loving, more joyous. It’s okay to turn those input sources all the way off and not turn them on again.
I don’t believe that there is an entire group of people who are in bad moods all the time, with furrowed brows. I refuse to believe this. I don’t think that’s what they want, and I don’t think that’s God’s portion for them. I think there is an outstretched hand available for all who have been living in discontentment, ready to pull them into a lifestyle of honor.
I don’t think God is a tiny man upstairs, losing His battle. I don’t think He’s being bullied by the things taking place in this world. I don’t think He’s offended anymore. I also don’t think He’s in a bad mood. What a terrible job to be the God who sent His Son but still wasn’t happy? I think He’s happy. I think He’s singing. I think He’s seeing something different than we are, despite of the chaos, the injustice, and the disconnect… I still believe God is in a good mood because of what Jesus did and does for us. He has made a way for us, so that we can be fully satisfied and no longer offended, no longer separated, and no longer fighting the wrong battles. It is the kindness of God that brings us to repentance. It’s the story of the Father running to the prodigal son. I think that if we live a life of Love, that this kind of love will pierce hearts and bring conviction in ways that fear-filled words never could.
Have you been angry lately? Offended? Outraged? Have you been spreading it around, your fear of this world becoming detached from God’s control and grace? It’s not possible. Nothing has the power to pull this planet from His hand. No sin. No power or principality. He will love and He will reign. He will purify us Himself, by His own hand, remember? He’s the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
We can instead become the hope-filled rescuers and the life-breathers. We can be the light, the lamp on the lamp stand. What Kingdom cause breaks your heart? Go build it with both hands. Get so lost in it, that you don’t have time for lesser things.
I’m gonna be warring in prayer for your peace to flow unhindered, for the offended ones to be no longer offended but KNOWN for their peace in the middle of the storms, known for their compassion, known for the grace dripping from their words, known for turning their eyes upon Jesus and looking full at His wonderful face, and for allowing the things of earth to grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Change our hearts, Jesus. Clear our minds and fill them with Your thoughts. Give us all wisdom, discernment, and peace to live as the most joyful and satisfied people to ever walk the planet, the ones who dwell in Your house today and always.