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June 27, 2011 / joelmalm

The Three Options

We all agree that we live in a messed up world.  Facing the brutal reality of genocide, racism, slavery and mean people I see three potential responses:

  1. Run and hide – Lots of people choose this option.  You can create a protective bubble around yourself and live in a false reality that makes you feel safe.
  2. Ignore it – In America you have the luxury of kicking back, sitting on your arse and watching football.  You know the problems are there, but there are other people that are more qualified to deal with it.  Besides, it’s hot outside.
  3. Do Something – You can stand up and fight like heaven to bring an end to injustice and shine the light of God’s freedom to the world.

On any given day I vacillate back and forth between all of the above options.

I have always been attracted to monastic life.  It’s a cool concept to be protected from the world and sit around thinking about God all day.  Deep down though something tells me that’s not really a godly option in a crumbling world.

If I chose to ignore it no one would ever call me out.  Ignoring it is the option most people go with.  There’s lots of good reality TV programming on that makes me feel like I am really living and the air conditioner feels really nice set at 76 degrees.  For some reason this response doesn’t sit well with me either though – it’s probably my parents’ fault.

Having eliminated the first two options it appears I am stuck with only one choice-  do something.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

I’ve read the whole Bible half a dozen times and have yet to find a verse that lets me opt out of the fray.  All the militaristic verbiage in the Good Book leaves me convinced there is a spiritual war going on that I need to get in on.  It’s a battle for God’s kingdom.  I have to constantly remind myself that peace isn’t an option here on earth – that’s all saved for heaven.  For now, I have to stay vigilant and keep a wartime lifestyle; sacrificing whatever it takes to do my part in spreading God’s kingdom of peace here on earth.

But my righteous one shall live by faith,  and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.  Hebrews 10:39

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