Monday, August 20, 2012

Acting as an Advocate

We have to be careful when we're standing up for what we believe is "a good cause," whether we are defending a certain group of people, a certain action, certain beliefs, or just ourselves.  While standing up for those who are defenseless may be a good thing, the very fact that we're "fighting for our rights" can be a very selfish act.  It's easy to allow ourselves to become the center of what we're fighting for because we want people to hear us.  We want people to believe what we believe and act how we act, etc.  When we're standing up for our rights, whether we are Christians, non-Christians, or unclaimed, we have to be careful that we are doing just that--standing for our rights, and not bashing others over the head because they believe what they believe.  It seems that many people whose beliefs go against what the Bible teaches are not just standing up for their rights, but bullying and harrassing Christians for believing the Bible.  Similarly, some Christ followers, when standing up for Christ, seem to shift their focus from glorifying God to glorifying themselves. God has created each one of us, made us perfectly in our mother's womb by the Master Creator, and all people should be respected and loved, even if they don't believe what we believe or don't live their lives how we think they should live them.  If we are Christ followers, we need to pray.  We need to be on our knees daily, in the privacy of our homes, praying for hearts and lives to be changed for God's glory.  There are many things we can actively do to change things we don't agree with, but none of our actions will be successful without God's favor on them.  Anything we do on our own (apart from Christ) is bound to fail.  The Bible says that, unless we speak and act in love, we only sound like a clanging cymbal.  Clanging cymbals don't change lives for eternity; we are called to love others.  We have to be careful that our focus does not shift from God's agenda to our own; we need to keep our eyes on Him, not on our circumstances.

Right now, it is easy for us to seek other people's approval because that's what we're surrounded by.  We want to evoke certain emotions in other people based on our actions or words.  That's why some people post things on facebook: we want people to be pleased with us, jealous of us, or we want to make someone angry, so we post comments that will evoke those feelings.  There will come a day, though, when we will not be surrounded by people anymore, but surrounded by our God, the Creator and Judge of the universe and His judgment will be all that matters.  We have to be careful that we're not living just for the here and now, but we are focused on our prize, our Savior, and changing lives for His glory.

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