Loving Like Christ, and Other Hard Things

“But, is it right to just stick your head in the sand and not do something when the world is falling apart?”

This was the question someone posed to me on Twitter. I’ve been thinking about it, and between the time that it was asked of me, and the time that I could respond, Paris was under attack.

This is a hard topic, you guys. Hard.

In my flesh, my carnal nature wants one thing, but the part of me being continually renewed to be more like Christ knows that Christ expects some very hard things from me, and from each of you who call in Him…things that fly in the face of our culture (Even in churches), and things that aren’t going to instantly “Fix” the problems of the world….name to be like Him in all of these hard situations.

The basis of the question came because the other day, I posted one of my little Calligraphy pictures, and a post about guarding our hearts. In it, I also talked about how I have learned to avoid watching the news and “staying informed” because of the negative affect this has on me and my own walk with Jesus Christ.

Amen? Right? Is anyone edified spiritually listening the punditry? Anyone at all?

Is anyone edified spiritually listening the news and punditry? Click To Tweet

In short, unless it’s a situation I can personally do something about, I don’t need to fill my heart and mind with things that tempt me towards disobeying God through fear, hatred, and anger. Staying informed is not “doing something” productive, most of the time. It’s just having your emotions wound up by junk you can’t change anyways, usually by people promoting a response that doesn’t line up with Christ’s heart on the matter.

Like I said, Hard stuff, y’all.

informed

 

Doing Things for the Sake of Doing Them

Right now, after the terror attacks in Paris (and after each set of terror attacks since 9/11 really, and on social media after ever major tragic event), my social media feeds are lit up with profile pictures overlaid with the French flag, with memes about standing with Paris, and touching photoshops of the Statue of Liberty (A gift from the people of France to the USA) and her sister statue in France hugging and such.

And there’s nothing wrong with showing our support in little figurative ways.

The way I see it, we feel a certain helplessness and restlessness when things like this happen, so it feels like we’re doing something to help. I think we all know there is nothing we, as individuals, can do to make it all better, so we do things like this. It reflects that horrible feeling of “I wish I could fix this” that we all get…

we feel helplessness when things happen, + a need to stay informed & do something. These… Click To Tweet

Then there were other posts I saw, as I broke my own rule from a few days ago about not filling my heart and mind with junk.

Realizing what was going on, I reminded myself of Christ’s words….

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

What Exactly Does “Staying Informed” Prompt YOU to do?

I have to ask you honestly…in staying informed and “doing something” …what exactly is this prompting you to do?

Seriously now.

  • What actions are you taking after getting riled up (don’t say “Get everyone else riled up on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit” okay…)
  • What changes are you able to make?
  • In what ways are you fixing the problem?
  • Can you even fix some of these problems?
  • Are you at least spending as much time praying about the horrors you’re reading about?
  • Does all of this “staying informed” stuff draw you closer to Christlike behavior and attitudes or closer to “fiery American Patriot, Live free or Die!” behavior and attitudes? (yes, there’s actually a difference)
  • Call me an ignorant sheeple who doesn’t care? (You’d be right on that…the Bible says we’re like lambs for the slaughter…and that isn’t used as a criticism but as a characteristic to aspire to…scary thought)

I tell ya, this is not popular, and this is not even my normal, natural, “in the flesh” response to such things. But God has really been pricking my heart lately about pretty much everything going on in the world around us, and impressing on me the need to draw closer to Him and shut out all of the junk that does not edify.

I’d say, “I don’t care” but I do care. That’s the problem. However it’s more like, “I can’t do anything about it, so I’m choosing to not think about it, and focus on what I can control.”

I believe with all of my heart that this world is winding down, and the return of Christ is near. I can’t change the political realm. I can’t change the culture through activism (at least not for long). I can’t change the way the world’s players are lining up on the stage in formations frighteningly similar to what we find in end-times Biblical prophecy.

But, what I can do is this:

  • I can draw closer to the Lord Jesus
  • I can seek to develop Christ like character and attitudes
  • I can seek to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in my life (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I can tell others about the hope found in Christ alone
  • I can pray  — for those I know, for those I don’t know, for our leaders, for the terrorists even. No one is beyond hope. God once turned a terrorist names Saul into the Apostle Paul (Acts 9)
  • I can do my part, however small, to help those God enables me to help financially
  • I can be an encouragement instead of the purveyor of bad news no one can do anything about (um, amen?)
  • I can remind other Christians that our citizenship is in heaven, as they fret over their earthly country fading away
  • I can protect my heart from all the noise going on out in the world, while looking towards a city that God is preparing for us in heaven.

…and that’s just off the top of my head.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line, to answer the question about the benefits of sticking one’s head in the sand regarding major issues in the world around us…

If news hardens my heart from the compassion Christ wants me to have, it's time to tune out. Click To Tweet

If there is nothing I can do about a situation, and the news articles, Facebook posts, twitter rants, and such are only going to get me wound up (in a bad way), full of anger, fear, seething rage, worry, frustration, and so forth…yes, it’s good to stick my head in the sand. If it leaves me panicked. If it hardens my heart away from the compassion Christ calls me to have, if it makes me angry and bitter about how lousy the world has become…it’s better just be blissfully ignorant.

“… I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple {ignorant} concerning evil.”  Romans 16:19

... I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple {ignorant} concerning evil. Click To Tweet

If there is a situation that I hear about that I can actively be a helping hand in, then it’s good to get the facts, and prayerfully be a help to those in that situation.

Unfortunately, we tend to have it backwards most of the time. We get riled up about things we have no control over but pass by on the other side when someone nearby is in trouble. (Luke 10:25-37). There are enough people in each area that are in need or situations that could use some assistance that we don’t have to waste our time and emotional energy on freaking out over things that will happen with or without us stressing over them.

We get riled over things we have no control over but pass by when someone near is in trouble.… Click To Tweet

But beyond “staying informed”, no matter the situation or circumstances, walking in the Spirit, cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, being Christlike in an anti-Christ culture, and taking everything to God in prayer first of all are always the right things to do.

 {stay tuned for part two of this post…in which I address several more questions this generated….lol}

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