We're all over the place right now. Emotions, ideologies and comments are flooding the digital world. Questions about the future sit heavy with many.
There's no doubt that the road ahead will be complex. There's much work to be done in the soil of our cultural moment.
As the emotions and frustration settle, the way forward is dealing in wisdom.
Now more than ever, we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (james 1:19)
That certainly doesn't mean that we don't speak. There are cultural, social and political issues ahead that followers of Jesus will have to work through and respond to.
It does mean that we need to think it through before we speak, and before we slap the banner of Jesus on a political candidate or ideology.
The way of Jesus and his kingdom are different from our system from the ground up. Jesus is on the throne in the sense that he is ultimately bringing about the world to justice, peace and righteousness. But his rule is not currently experienced to all people dwelling on earth. And we need to be sensitive to that as we move forward, keeping in mind that God has deep compassion for the oppressed. We do need to partner with Him in that.
It's essential that we be guided, and filled with the heart of God to walk in careful, winsome, wisdom. It's all too easy to speak our feelings instead.
"Make your ear attentive to wisdom (this is the author of proverbs talking)
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;
From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
Who delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
Whose paths are crooked,
And who are devious in their ways;
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
SALT AND LIGHT
We are to be a preserving agent in our culture, and a beacon of a different way. The goal of living this way is that people might see the way of life and "give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16).
There's a multi-directional call for people to move towards the God who is near to the brokenhearted and cares for the oppressed. This comes along with a call to do right, to be aligned with the God who is the source of justice. You can't separate the way from the teacher.
Let's approach this thing with wisdom, kingdom and hope. Let's do as much as we speak. And let's do it a bit more quietly. There's plenty of noise out there.