Jesus Didn't Raise Quitters
If you're anything like me, you've got some flicker inside your heart anxious to change the world. We want to have the most impact on the world that we can. That is a good thing. God loves it when we desire to be apart of his plan in making the world a better place and maximizing our abilities. However, choosing a direction, or a way to approach an issue is tough- very tough actually. It requires intellect, research, prayer, and experience.
I've been to conferences, speakers, and programs where millions of different ideas are preached in the name of "how to really change the world." Many are contradictory and confusing. In this personal reflection my goal is to shed some light and raises questions about our assumptions when it comes to how to "change the world."
“Oh, law is a great field and we need people like you. I am sure you will do great things.”
But what great things? Lobbying is often a bidding war, and if you lose, all of your time is effectively wasted. So let’s just encourage people to vote because it’s our civic duty even though the vast majority of the population may vote irrationally and have no knowledge of what they are voting for in the first place. They often vote for things that hurt them and their community without actually realizing it. And that is alright because your vote is meaningless anyway (mathematically speaking) and the opportunity cost of learning about policies to make an informed vote is way too high in the first place.
Democracy, the government structure with statistically the best international results is inherently flawed due to rent seeking and aggregated voting preferences. Regardless, if if we assume a vote would matter, the law is arbitrary to begin with. Judges and legal counsel hide behind the paper as though they are objective when in reality the rule of law is a myth.
But that’s good because the law shouldn’t be a one size fits all system in the first place. So should we work to change a system such as this? Anarchy? Maybe thats the answer, but it's very chaotic and prone to a whole set of other issues.
Or, you could go into business to change to strike the heart of the problem. Even though solving fair wages would solve the vast majority of economic injustice, we don’t praise those companies who are operating ethically. Instead we idolize those who raise vast amounts of philanthropic contributions, doing more for their image instead of solving underlying problems.
These wouldn’t need to be in place if trade terms and wages were fair, but we tend to look over that fact. And what about the shareholders? Are they demanding justice? They are who the CEOs work for. Their demand drives business decisions, or does the top trickle down. At the same time, we look at those who are in our prison systems and often say, “you made these decisions out of your circumstances.” While businesspeople should not be off the hook, we don’t critically ask ourselves if those circumstances also contribute to their wrong doing. And even more importantly, it’s easy to criticize someone else, but what would you do if you were in their position? Power can corrupt anyone, not just a select group of people. We often forget that.
And what does the terms justice actually mean? Most of the time, a proposed “justice” solution is just a mercy action with simply a shift of responsibility from the private to the government. That’s not really justice now is it? Should we work to change hearts? Oh, but no systemic issues are what needs to be fixed, so work to change that so that society can change. But these institutions are created by people in the first place aren’t they...
You could take up a fight against “social constructs.” But these crusades lie in the framework in which they are trying to eradicate in the first place.
And the church is your family. It is where I am at home, and I have the best group of people supporting me. Maybe we should engage in this community, be involved, and offer support. Perhaps you should create programs that give life to the church and also draw others into it.
But actually, don’t go to church as much. Additionally, the church is dying. Be out in the community. Live out the gospel in the real world.
Maybe you should evangelize, and spread the word of God to the world. While the actions of this world are brief, his love lasts eternity. Trusting in God offers a well that will never run dry and is the only solution. But actually don’t talk about him at all. Instead show people with your actions. Actions are the most important things, but they don’t "get you into heaven."
Prayer is the most powerful thing, for nothing can be done without God, but at the same time you must initiate change. He uses each other to answer our prayers. Its up to you to change the world. Now we are back at the start. And it never really was you in the first place- it was the Lord. But how to tell the difference between Holy Spirit and your own thoughts. Now thats a question.
And by the way, up hold the truth, but don’t make any critiques of people’s behavior- if it doesn't physically harm someone else anything and everything is okay. This often attracts of mindset of arbitrary morality with shifting premises. But thinking everything is one size fits all makes me uncomfortable as well.
And we have created all of these institutions and programs and organizations to make up for the fact as individuals have fallen away from how we are called to live in the first place. And let’s not have any programs but let’s make programs about being a good neighbor because somehow we forgot how to live as humanity.
So which life are you to choose, which way are you to go if you are to actually make an impact on society?
I hope my round-about reflection doesn't bring you to sadness or confusion, but that you are awakened to the different thoughts and contradictions in society. I pray you are encouraged to now dive deeper into your piece to this crazy puzzle.
The truth is that ministry, service, and justice work can be daunting. It can be frustrating, and sometimes it seems like we aren't actually doing a whole lot or there are no answers. A lot of times we question why we still fight. I know I do.
So why even try? We fight because that is what Jesus wants. He wants us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). He didn't raise quitters. God never gives up on us and his mission is not something we can walk away from.
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