Prayer Walking with Jesus

Loving Like Christ and Other Hard Things

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. Between the time that he asked this question, 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 there is a part of me being continually renewed to be more like Christ. This part of me knows that Christ expects some hard things from me. He expects hard things from each of you who call on 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.

The basis of the question came the other day.  I posted about how I have learned to avoid watching the news.  Staying informed has a negative affect on me and my own walk with Jesus Christ.

Loving Like Christ and Other Hard Things

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

Is anyone edified spiritually listening to 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 it. I avoid 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.  It’s manipulation by people promoting a response that doesn’t line up with Christ’s heart on the matter.

Like I said, Hard stuff, y’all.

Doing Things for the Sake of Doing Them

After the terror attacks in Paris, my social media feeds lit up with profile pictures overlaid with the French flag. There are memes about standing with Paris. I’ve seen touching photoshops of the Statue of Liberty and her sister statue in France hugging.

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. 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…

Answer Honestly: when was the last time you were edified and encouraged watching the news and staying informed? Guard your heart! Proverbs 4:23

we feel helplessness when things happen, + a need to stay informed & do something. These aren't the same thing 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 this “staying informed” stuff draw you closer to Christlike behavior? Christlike 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. 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 been pricking my heart lately about everything going on in the world around us. He’s been impressing on me the need to draw closer to Him and shut out all the junk that does not edify.

I’d say, “I don’t care” but I do care. That’s the problem.

Yet 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 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 named 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 about 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. Yes, 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.  It’s good to be a help to those in that situation.

Do not harden your heart from the compassion Christ wants you to have.

Unfortunately, we tend to have it backward 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. There are local situations that could use some help.  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. (Luke 10:25-37) Click To Tweet

But beyond “staying informed”, no matter the situation or circumstances, there are things we should do. 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.