springtime

I've got a lot on my mind these days. Springtime seems heavy this year. I was reading an article the other night about how the fear of appearing foolish keeps us from sharing the gospel. Our culture worships knowledge. The ultimate transgression is to be considered ignorant. This is why social media is such a firestorm: everyone is desperate to share an opinion and make themselves appear wiser than their peers; at the same time the brutality in which they tear down is shocking. "Ignorant" is a curse word. When Jesus said he chose the foolish things of this world to shame those who consider themselves wise, he was talking about those considered foolish by the world’s standards. But in the Bible, actual fools are those who don’t look to God for their source of wisdom. 

We can't use our worldly knowledge to convince someone to repent of their sin and turn to Christ. There is no perfectly crafted tweet that will move someone from death to life. To unbelievers, the gospel is offensive. To believers, the gospel is a beautiful promise. In a desperate attempt to merge the world and the gospel, we mutilate the truth. To the eternal detriment of those who hear our words.

It's a heavy season. I know God uses our lives as a means of displaying his glory and his goodness. Oftentimes the disappointment, or the effort, or the pain just doesn't seem worth it. In these moments I see the allure of the prosperity gospel – live your best life now sounds like a promise of sweet relief in an unjust world. "If you worship me, it will all be yours." – Luke 4:7. But it's the devil talking. That verse is quoting Satan talking to Jesus, tempting him in the wilderness. I'm sure Jesus would have preferred his best life now instead of the agony he was experiencing and, more acutely, anticipating.

If God is in control like he says he is, I do not have to work at crafting the perfectly acceptable, admirable life. My job is to tell people about God plainly and truthfully. When my focus is on my own life, it is difficult to get past myself. Which is why the Bible calls us to constantly keep our eyes on the perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

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