There’s a lot of intensity right now. Politics, health, racial tension, government guidelines, financial challenges, and relational tensions.
I’ve repeatedly voiced my challenge to Christians in particular, because, (1) I belong to that group, and (2) I hold us all to a higher standard.
And what I’m seeing a lot of is anger—spewed, unbridled, and rationalized.
“But if we don’t fight when they’re trying to silence us, we are failing. It’s our responsibility. It’s our right. We’re not going to stand by any longer, and any Christian who does disappoints me.”
There’s a lot of intensity right now, and while we don’t need to bury it all, could we live without the unproductive intensity? Could we consider the impact we’re having? I think some of the content is being lost in the process, and that means the results we’re fighting so hard for are going to get lost in the mayhem we’re creating to get there at all costs. And while I’d like to say it goes without saying, “at all costs” is very costly. We’ll give up a lot in the process—including some of what we should not let go.
In our attempts to follow God’s will, we can try to take the wheel from him. Anytime we hear something similar to, “But if we don’t….,” we should be cautious. We have a responsibility of faith. We do not have the insight or power to do what only God can do in his timing. We need to seek him and know him well enough to be assured in his prompts. It is sometimes leaning forward and sometimes leaning back. It is yielding and persevering. It is confronting with respect and listening with compassion. It is less about a checklist and to do list and more about a to-seek-list and a to-become-list. I see us seeking distorted goals—perhaps rooted in his will but not trusting his ways—and becoming people who don’t give others the reflection of who God is.
There’s a lot of intensity right now, and much of it is anger. A lot of intensity is not a bad thing, but when it is saturated with anger and dry of other important characteristics, it can be destructive. No matter what we do, God is still God. He will still work. He will still forgive. He will still pursue. But what we do still matters. It matters in our faith journeys and relationships with God. It matters in our witness to others. How we embrace and express the character of God matters. How we love, how we confront, how we seek peace, how we extend compassion, how we give grace, how we invite accountability. It all matters.
What can you do if you’re feeling the intensity right now? Be cautious as you interact with others. Keep your motivations, words, and attitudes in check. Better yet, let God check you. Don’t spew a Bible verse as if it is a poisoned dart. Honor God better than that. Truth is powerful, but it can shut people down and harm them just as often as it encourages and equips them. Let God be God. Follow and honor him well. Know what you say and do has immediate ramifications but also long term implications. You won’t be able to fully know or understand how it all fits together over time, but if you trust God in each moment, he’ll do the weaving. There’s a lot of intensity right now. Make sure that intensity has the best focus and expression.