I can be passionate about what I believe in. Even dogmatic. In today’s politically correct world God is being pushed aside. Makes me mad, and in my anger I’ve wasted precious time.
I’ve spent countless hours pondering whether or not to shop at Home Depot and Walmart, buy things made in China, or buy products from companies who openly support non-biblical values…just to name a few of my past “causes.”
Now the Christmas holidays are approaching. “Happy Holidays” greetings have replaced “Merry Christmas.” Towns are fighting over the display of manger scenes. Schools aren’t allowed to sing religious Christmas songs in their holiday programs.
Then there’s Santa Clause – should children be taught to believe in Him? Should we put up Christmas trees? Should we celebrate Hanukah?
As I read blogs and Facebook posts about these things and many others, I felt my passions rise up. The Lord countered with the parable about the sower; specifically the verses about the cares of this world. Here are those verses from Mark 4, Amplified translation:
3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow seed;
7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
9 And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”
13 Then He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand and grasp the meaning of all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word [of God, the good news regarding the way of salvation].
18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries and cares of the world [the distractions of this age with its worldly pleasures], and the deceitfulness [and the false security or glamour] of wealth [or fame], and the passionate desires for all the other things creep in and choke out the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
It’s OK to have strong convictions, but mine have been misplaced.
Many “causes” I’ve invested in are not fruitful and have choked out what God has called me to do. It’s easy to get caught up in the tide of popular trends. It feels good to be part of a cause that is bigger than me, and to fist-pump and shout, “Yeah!” when others agree with me.
But wow, at what cost?
Is it more important to convince people of reasons to avoid Walmart or listen for their needs and share the hope I’ve found in Jesus (aka, love them)? Is it more fruitful to peruse the internet and see what others say about fighting the latest trend in political correctness or to spend time in prayer?
Lord, forgive me, and change my heart.
As you post, text, tweet, and spend time with family and friends, think about what is really important and resolve to be loving in all you say and do. Feed yourself with the Word, think on what is lovely, and let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth.
Christmas is a season of love. Don’t let the cares of this world choke out God’s love in you.