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.