I don’t know where people get the energy. I really don’t. I mean, I’m a caffeine addicted, 4 -cups-a-day coffee drinker, and I don’t possess the energy that some people seem to have. Because it takes energy to be outraged all the time.
Another controversial celebrity endorses a product, “Boycott that product! If you own it, burn it, and make sure you put it on social media so people can see the flames!”
A company makes a decision to endorse a particular lifestyle, “Boycott the company! Tell everyone how evil they are to do such a thing!”
A movie makes a controversial statement, “Boycott Hollywood! They’re nothing but hedonists and out-of-touch millionaires anyway!”
And don’t get me started on politics. With a SCOTUS judiciary confirmation hearing this week we have already seen the histrionics of our legislative body at work, who are doing their best to pander to the outraged voters who put them in office.
Frankly, I don’t have the time or energy to be angry about everything. I don’t have the mental energy it takes to sustain the rage needed to protest everything that I disagree with, much less to boycott everything the right or left tells me I should be boycotting. In fact, being outraged at everything does little good for me or anyone else. Here are some reasons why:
- When we get angry over every little thing, when there is something truly worthy of righteous indignation, it gets lost in the white noise. There are certain people that I have to fight the urge to automatically tune out because they are upset all the time, and 99% of the time it is over nothing worthy of anger.
- When we are always outraged, we fail to exude the joy of living in Christ. Paul wrote we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.” But are we? If we are constantly criticizing and putting others on blast for their views, we cannot simultaneously show them a joy that leads to a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”
- When we are spending our energy on sharing every meme, post, or diatribe that supports our view, we are not spending our energy on the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. No, telling people they are wrong is not evangelism. Evangelism is making disciples. Making disciples is deeply rooted in building relationships. Building relationships takes time and energy. Time and energy are being wasted by thousands of Christ followers every day on making sure we don’t ever purchase Brand-X again.
- Anger is not part of the Fruit of the Spirit. But peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control are.
- Jesus was not angry all the time. Were there times He displayed anger? Absolutely. Usually when others were being exploited or being denied entrance to the Kingdom of God. We also see a Jesus who ate with tax-collectors, talked with whores, sat with sinners, and walked among the sick. That’s how Jesus affected change. He did it by getting to know people who were different than He was, and you don’t do that by constantly yelling at them that they are wrong.
So let me gently confront you with a few questions:
- Are you spending more time this week telling people what footwear they should purchase or about the good news of Jesus?
- Are you more apt to share a meme about our President (for or against) than you are to share the Gospel in a one on one situation?
- Is your social media feed, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., is it filled more with political rants, defenses, etc. or with words of encouragement, hope, and joy?
- Are you more concerned about what brand of coffee someone drinks than sharing a cup with them and seeing how they are handling life?
- Do you have a tendency to think along the lines of us/them, red/blue, liberal/conservative, left/right, or along the lines of we all need Jesus, I have found Him, you can too?
- How many friends do you have that are different than you? (e.g. if you view yourself as a conservative, what, if any, liberal friends do you have?) Jesus reached across lines to build His church. We should too.
My friends. We can be better. I can be better. After all, I don’t have the energy to be angry all the time. It’s exhausting.