Thursday, November 17, 2016

Young and Pressured | the picture

For explanation of this series, see this post. For more background on this idea, see my Rebelution article.


<< In Pursuit of the Good Life | three >>


Young people feel pressure to change the world for Jesus, and this is actually keeping them from acting to change the world (see post one).

Yes, they feel such world-changing pressure, but they don't know how to do it. This means that they are not only often living much more inactive than they could but also feeling purposeless (see post two).

However, these ideas aren't coming from crazy sources: hints of them are actually found within the pages of the Bible itself.

Isn't that how these things often go? Just enough truth is packed into the powerful punches of thoughts and makes for a pile of thoughts that starts to lean the wrong way (and lead the thinker down the wrong path).


Truth comes out: truth is being twisted and forming the basis for a lot of these thoughts.

I NEED TO CHANGE THE WORLD

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:10). Shouldn't we have to find all of these good things that God has us to do? What if we don't find them? Then aren't we wasting our lives? So we'd better hurry up and find them and do them so we can do the next and the next so the world can be changed more and more.

"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature'" (Mark 16:15). We need to go into the world with the message that can change the world. We've been commanded to do this! What are we waiting for? Is our not going (since we've been commanded) disobedience even if we are doing other good things? We need to finish up and go, go go.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). We've been commanded to go. There's good things in store for us to do. We can do anything through Him. Why are we holding back and not going, doing, changing the world?

 I NEED TO SURRENDER EVERYTHIG

"Then Jesus said to all of them, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it" (Luke 9:23-24).  We must surrender everything. What if we are still holding back? Is He just waiting for us to surrender more? to surrender more deeply? What if we don't know how?

"More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8). What if we still feel torn? What if we still want these things though we want Christ, too? How can we choose them more?

Don't get me wrong, I believe that striving to make a difference in our world for Jesus is a very good thing. In fact, I think acting from our faith is healthy and a sign that our faith is real (James 2). Surrender is so necessary! We need less of us and more of a knowledge of God.

Bible verses tell us the truth of difference making and a surrendered lifestyle. However, twisted, they can twist our view of who we are, who others are, and what it means to live a life following after Jesus.

This is what makes this pressured, purposeless situation all the more dire: it is finding a foundation in a twisted version of scripture.

© 2016 Deborah Hope Shining
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5 comments:

  1. Woah. I love this. We do feel pressured and that is why apathy runs rampant in the lives of millennials. I'd love to hear your thoughts about how we can truly surrender. I think the reason we don't is because we don't know how.

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  2. Surrendering might look different for different people, but it is necessary for everyone. We need to offer our lives as a sacrifice and daily make decisions that we think are glorifying to God. Every Christian does not have the same path, but we all have the same destination.

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  3. Surrendering might look different for different people, but it is necessary for everyone. We need to offer our lives as a sacrifice and daily make decisions that we think are glorifying to God. Every Christian does not have the same path, but we all have the same destination.

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  4. Those people who twist the truth of Philippians 4:13 are taking it out of context, as so many people do so often. The "things" Paul was referring to were the hardships Christians need to endure, like being in prison for trying to do great things and change the world. But the truth is twisted by ignoring that context.
    Also: I'm not sure how young the young people you're talking about are, but I know my church's adult Bible study (including basically everyone older than high school) has recently read through books like "Not a Fan" and "Radical" that preach that message of surrendering everything that you mentioned. I'm not crazy about some of the theology in these books, and I think they may carry a danger of making Christians question their faith unnecessarily. So it may not be only young people who are feeling excessive pressure.

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  5. I think it's so interesting how our desire to want to change the world can sometimes result in apathy and a lack of motivation to do so. I mean, the world is so big & how am I supposed to be the one to change it. This whole concept to me is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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