Friday, March 18, 2016

In an Angry, Coarse and Vulgar World

In a letter written over two millennia ago, the writer had advice and admonition particulaly relevant for how we should conduct ourselves amidst the hostility and vulgarity of our own day:

Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Reject foolish and ignorant arguments, knowing that they breed quarrels. Be gentle and patient with everyone. Answer opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and lead them to know truth. Perhaps they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the enemy having been captured and convinced to do his bidding (paraphrased from 2 Timothy 2).

Our calling, in a world that is angry, coarse, and vulgar, is to stand in stark contrast. In fact, as Christ followers, we are to run after and lay hold of a more excellent way: holiness, faith, love, peace, gentleness, kindness, truth.

In so doing, others--even those who at present oppose us--may know the truth and come to their senses. Perhaps in faith they will turn and escape the enemy who has them trapped and working at odds with what is really in their best self-interest.

Enemies are like that of course. They trap, capture, confuse, and convince others to do their bidding. Enemies cowardly use others to advance their own agenda, offering affirmation and support until the other person no longer serves their purpose. Then they callously move on, leaving in their wake isolated and abandoned souls.

And Christ followers and Jesus freaks will be there to help pick up the pieces. Because that's the kind of God we serve and the kind of life He expects. Because His is a more excellent way.

Meanwhile, with love and gentleness and patience we stand and speak and serve in an angry, coarse, and vulgar world. Because others are counting on us. Even if they don't realize it yet.

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