Boldness from Compassion, Not Indifference
I have been working on a very tough sermon from Psalm 36 the last couple days. While listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll (in which he said some very bold things to his church about giving financially) God revealed something significant to me. You see, I have often thought of myself as a bold person. I say things and do things that others wouldn’t – and yet what he said, I just could not do. He crossed the line. However, the way that he did it was…different. Better. There was no self in it, I could see some good coming from it.
I think the difference is this: his passion (and he was very passionate) was motivated by love. So often, I have tried to be bold through indifference (I don’t care what you think of me) however, this is a fragile and egotistical shield. Deep down I do care what people think: in the end, am I only trying to “be that guy that is bold, that guy that doesn’t care what people think of him” …? How much better, rather, to be burning with a passion for a message which desperately needs to be heard. To believe something so strongly that self is forgotten, laid aside, sacrificed for the good of another?
I went on to preach this sermon (listen to it Diagnosis, Prognosis, Cure), trying to keep this principle in mind.
This evening, we watched the movie “The Invention of Lying.” This movie can only and best be described as “a master-work of the father of lies, a symphony of praise to his craft, a wry and witty repackaging of the old spirit of rebellion from which all our miseries flow.”
I am quietly livid.
Up ’till now I have been back and forth on evangelism, on apologetics. I am bold for a moment (“ha! I don’t care what people think! I’m just going to step up and do it!”) then I retreat in embarassment (“Oh, I said the wrong thing, I hurt his feelings, I hope he still likes me..”). What is my motivation here? Where is my heart? If the devil operated like this, we Christians would be having a cake-walk!
It’s time to pray for love. Not just warm-fuzzies, not just passing emotion, but love. The kind of love that says, “I HATE TO SEE YOU LIVING IN DESPAIR AND BECAUSE I KNOW THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT, I WILL STEP ACROSS THE MILES, I WILL STEP ACROSS THE STIGMAS, I WILL STEP ACROSS MY OWN WEAKNESS AND INEPTITUDE AND TELL YOU ABOUT THE ONE WHO SOUGHT AND RESCUED ME!!”
Jesus, give me this love. Give me this boldness. And may the place where we meet be shaken. Amen.