This week’s Supreme Court decision that redefines marriage has stirred up quite a response. It ranges from outrage to sheer jubilation. One thing is for sure, although the Court has ruled, the water is still murky and many are wondering how to respond. Because I am a Christian and a pastor, my heart goes out to the many people who are still trying to wrap their heart around the implications of what is happening and how they should respond to a culture that is rapidly changing.
Here are 7 things I encourage you to do today:
1. Remember Who God Is
Nothing that happens within culture catches God off guard. The God of the Bible is not wringing His hands in fear because of decisions made in the courtrooms of man. God’s nature and character are unchanging – in every circumstance: God is great
— so we do not have to be in control, God is glorious
— so we do not have to fear others, God is good
— so we do not have to look elsewhere and God is gracious
— so we do not have to prove ourselves (credit: Tim Chester
2. Reconsider What is at the Root of Your Feelings
Emotions like fear, anger, chaos, worry and shame are not the fruit of the Spirit. Those emotions are gifts that point us to a root that God wants to heal or confront with the truth. If today’s decision has stirred up those kinds of feelings, ask the Holy Spirit to take you to the root of your emotions and meet you there with the truth. Until you can speak/type in a way that displays the fruit of the Spirit – be quiet. It’s ok to say, “I’m not sure how I feel yet” or ignore Facebook for a couple days until you are able to walk in the Spirit.
3. Repent For the Ways You Have Fallen Short
Let’s not forget that real Gospel change starts with repentance. If I want God to move in my city, I need to remove the barriers that keep Him from moving in MY LIFE. If you have failed to speak with grace or act in love – repent. If you have rejected people instead of reaching out to them – repent. If you have thrown stones instead of offered a hand of friendship and healing – repent.
4. Revisit What God’s Word Says
God gave the Bible for the good of mankind. At the root of sin is the idea that “I know better than God does”! The Bible claims to represent the heart and intent of the only God that knows the beginning and end. Therefore, His words are for the sake of our flourishing, not our detriment. When God’s word says something that causes pain in the short term, it is always for our good in the long term. It is only with arrogance and pride that we can look at the scripture and say, “God didn’t really mean what He said, I know a better way.”
5. Review Your Purpose
Jesus modled a life of unrelenting love, service and sacrifice. Christians are called to follow in His footsteps. It is the purpose of every Christ follower to be His representative of GRACE and TRUTH. Moments like this may be uncomfortable, but they do not change who you are called to be or the reason you were born in this generation.
6. Receive Good Council from Trusted People
Process your feelings with trusted people, and preferably face to face. The comment section of a website is typically not a helpful forum for conversation. When you sit down with someone your trust, ask more questions than statements. Try talking to somebody who is older and someone who is younger, someone who has been a Christian longer than you have and someone who isn’t. Ask a lot of “why” questions, it will help you clarify your feelings and true opinion. It may also show you that your reasoning needs some work. Don’t be afraid of research and study!
7. Respond From Faith, Not Fear
Over and over Jesus encouraged His disciples not to fear, but instead trust Him. Why? Because He knows the beginning and the end and is committed to see His purposes come to pass. Even the grave could not stop God’s Kingdom from advancing. There are too many opportunities for the GOOD NEWS about Jesus that are all around us for Christian’s to hide in the margins when times get tough. Rise up with grace and truth, do not shrink back!
Finally, REJOICE! The Good News of Jesus hasn’t lost its power. The Spirit of God is active and working. God’s plan is unchanged. There is no time like the present to ask God to bring a Gospel revolution. And by the way, Jesus, may it begin in me.