My Life with God

The Need to Get Riled

It seems as if we need something to get riled up against. As in, it’s a core need. And I know that’s not the case. We can call it getting passionate about something, and I’d say passion is fairly central to the human experience. But riled up? To the extent that we disrespect others and start claiming our own rights and opinions? I don’t think that’s what God has in mind for us.

Yes, I’m primarily addressing the Christian community.

For quite some time, it seems we have needed something that is wrong—either because it is biblically wrong or because we perceive it as biblically wrong—and there is a big difference. We focus on the wrong, perceived or real, and it becomes food for fervor. It almost becomes a feeding frenzy, a panic, that distorts standing up for truth and twists it into something self-centered. It involves our own rights, and we fight it, as if a change in policy or the allowance of something in culture affects our freedom as a Christian. What does that say about the faith we have in God and his trustworthiness, sovereignty, and promises? Our rights in the culture and the time in which we live are not the same as our identity in Christ.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t stand up for what is right, but we shouldn’t be used for political purposes. I’d like to say we should be smarter than that, but even if we’re not smarter, we most definitely should be more discerning. Because our discernment comes from our pursuit of and following Jesus’ example. 

Instead, many leaders in the Christian faith—and those who become familiar with the Christian faith—have decided they will use that to their advantage. And it works. If we assessing their wiliness, they rank pretty high. If they can convince us that somebody else is trying to manipulate and deceive us, they play to our fears and our pride, and they mask the fact that they are actually the ones doing the manipulation and deception. It’s a classic approach: accuse the other person first of what you’re actually doing, because no one will suspect you, and you are seen as the wise, reliable whistleblower. 

We need to wake up and wise up. Instead of wasting our energy and time jumping to conclusions and sharing the meme, sit back. Rest in God’s presence. Seek him and his truth. Don’t look for the answers you want. Let him pour into you what you need. Your need is not to determine his agenda but to let him change yours. 

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