If you are like me, you like to be right. There is a foundational confidence that comes from the belief I am on the right side of morality, the right side of faith, the right side of justice, the right side of truth, and the right side of history. Being right in all aspects of life feels like wrapping up in a cozy blanket on a chilly night. So comfy!
Currently, if you are like me, you are being told you are not right at all. In fact, you are very very very wrong. Not only are you wrong, but you are what’s wrong with the world. Wrong race, wrong gender, wrong age, wrong doctrine, wrong political and social views. As the warm blanket of “right” is pulled away, I feel uncomfortably chilled, exposed, humiliated, hated. (I pause here and ask myself if the comfy blanket of “rightness” is not actually a comfy blanket of “whiteness?” In past posts I wrote of the necessity of those in privilege to sit down, listen, and learn. I still believe that is true. But this post is rather about what to do with rightness and in some regard whiteness).
With that pause clearly in view, I still find myself (my self-differentiating, self-evaluating and introspecting self) asking “Where do I go from here?”
The assault on my predilections comes from all angles. Riots in the streets, news media headlines, political commentary, TV commercials, changing laws, and government shutdowns lead the charge. But the attack also strikes closer to home.
For many in the Church today, the response to this exposure to the historical “wrongs” and the attack on traditional “rightness” leads to a deconstruction of historical Orthodoxy. Old truths are viewed through new lenses. The gradual erosion of assent to the authority of Scripture gives way to a new socially accepted authority. In this new orthodoxy, the reason of man is held above foundational faith in an immutable God. Some label this Progressive Christianity. As if there are not enough battles raging, Christians can be “exhibit A” in cancel culture as we fight among ourselves.
Immersed in this malaise is the reality of COVID, resulting in losses, stresses, limitations, and fears. I personally mourn the loss of freedom to visit family and friends.
I find the current environment exhausting. The eroding orthodoxy, COVID, racism, political megalomaniacs (on all sides), and culture wars. I see rays of sunshine but mostly clouds. I see the cumulative stress on those around me and wonder what the future holds for all of us.
I hate to admit this, but some days I sit in my exhaustion under the clouds and I have thoughts of quitting. Let myself be cancelled. Lay down my sword. Pack it up. Shut up. Go away.
As I sit with those emotions this morning, and bring them to Jesus, He reminds me of His Word. With no change in environment or lessening of the struggle, I realize that I am not right.
In fact, according to Ephesians, I was dead in my trespasses and walking according to the course of this world, but God, being rich in mercy and because of His great love, made me alive, raised me up, and sat me in the heavenly places with Him. If I am indeed alive and raised up to new heavenly perspectives (above the clouds), it would not be right to quit.
I wonder if you reading this experience a similar exhaustion to mine? Are you weighed down with the concerns of this world? Are you experiencing a loss of footing in the changing seas of our times? Are you tempted, like me, to lay down your sword and fade away? In this day when positive influence is so much needed but harder than ever to communicate and be received, have you already given up? Are you consumed by your anger and bitterness at the loss of the ease of your rightness (or whiteness)?
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For he rescued us from the dominion of darkness and delivered us into the kingdom of the Son he loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14