I wanted to share something I noticed this week.
It seems like people get outraged really easily.
A certain movie that I am not going to go see, but not for moral reasons, was released in theaters and certain people groups are outraged. (There is something to be said about holy living but Still the response to those who may not be is not outrage)
I have been joking about a group of mothers standing outside of a small town theater with their arms crossed glaring at people as they walk by as if to say, “we are not angry, we are just disappointed”.
That may sound ridiculous but some reactions I’ve seen really make it seem like things could head that way (or worse) quickly.
This is the problem though.
Reacting in outrage.
Outrage says, “I am so mad and hopeless about this situation”.
Once in a drug rehab facility I picked up a piece of paper that talked about the difference between reacting and responding.
When something makes us uncomfortable and we do not feel like we have control we can often times react.
This can at times look like an emotional outburst or a recoil in fear.
Either way we are letting our emotions and opinions drive us to act quickly without thinking.
Sometimes we feel justified in our split second reactionary judgements based on
whether or not we are morally justified.
We are right and they are wrong so it is ok right?
I say no.
It is never worth it to react.
I know I have lost friendships from making split second judgements in moments that I cannot get back.
Reacting based on whether something or someone is behaving immorally also causes us often times to create a separation between us and them.
The enemy want us to be outraged and react guys.
These lead to bitterness and seclusion from a world that needs to really see what the living freely and lightly that Jesus talked about looks like.
I am more and more realizing though that I need them.
I need people.
Isolation is the enemies greatest deception.
This truth was for drug addicts who may feel powerless to combat their situation but I believe it applies to outrage addicts as well.
So what is the alternative when we see some injustice that makes our stomach turn?
The paper I picked up earlier also detailed what responding to a situation we may encounter in our lives looks like.
Thoughtfully responding can lead to a solution or greater understanding than rash decisions and emotional outbursts ever would.
When some injustice stirs us, that is good.
A friend once told me that is God giving you a heart to do something about it.
Thoughtfully approaching a situation to think of solutions or being solutions that can make the world a better place is what I believe we are on earth for in the first place.
Reacting to a sensitive issue like abortion can look like picketing clinics and causing others to live in shame. A culture full of outrage and shame says to someone you need to behav right before I accept you.
The Kingdom of God does not do that. God says you belong before you behave.
So Jesus Prayed to the Father “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
We get to bring heaven to earth in these situations that stir us.
It is a calling! A kingdom response looks like bringing heaven into the situation.
Responding to this injustice can look like aiding in reform of our adoption system in this country, working with pregnancy resource centers locally, or working in relationship with the girls themselves.
God is not phased by this movie that just came out.
If it stirs something in you that this is not ok, do something about it.
Seriously I do believe that means you have it set in you to create or be a part of something greater.
A solution and not a reaction.
Be the solution.
What if we were known as a culture that did not react but responded in love with kingdom solutions to issues that stir us?
I have heard it said, “don’t be like a thermometer that just reads out what’s happening in the world, be like a thermostat and shift the culture.”
We have true power to reproduce life.
What if the church was the most innovative when it came to art, music, movies, science, and literature?
I believe we have it in us to be.