Mission or Outrage?

In his book, Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst, Ed Stetzer challenges followers of Christ not only to rise above the ever-lowering moral and ethical standards of the world we live in, but also to be aware of the attitude we might have towards those who celebrate those lower standards. The reason he gives for this challenge is simple: “You can’t hate people and engage them with the gospel at the same time. You can’t war with people and show the love of Jesus. You can’t be both outraged and on mission.”
When we bring outrage to the forefront and let it guide our thinking, we are in danger of allowing the same kind of ungodliness that upsets us in others to take root in our own lives. It forces us to categorize people and base their worth on that category. It’s the same kind of thing the Pharisees did when they talked about sinners and tax collectors. How might that look in 2022?
“In the age of outrage, we are perpetually encouraged to view others purely in categories of friend or foe. Are they on my side or are they against me? Do they like my politics and politicians? Endorse my worldview? Embrace my ideology? Outrage is a product of the flesh. It is selfish, divisive, wrathful, and chaotic. In some cases, outrage pretends to be righteous anger, but underneath the veneer, it is simply driven by our fleshly desires. In contrast, engaging the Spirit takes the focus off us (our tribe, our desires, our anger, our anxieties) and places it on God and his glory. When we experience forgiveness in Christ, God entirely transforms the way we see people and communities.”
Let’s strive to be transformed and see people the way that Jesus does. It can help us reach them for Him. That mission is too important to let outrage get in the way.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. – Hebrews 12:14-15

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