I find myself “apologizing” for all kinds of random stuff.
For irritating my teenagers when I ask them to get off their smart phone and do the dishes.
For asking for help.
For speaking the truth in a posture of love.
For going back to exchange the right item for my drive-through order.
For being offended by an overtly sinful act or image.
For opening the door for a lady I don’t know.
For praying before a meal at a restaurant.
For not being as passionate about political issues as my friends.
For not praying enough and for feeling like I’m ‘bothering’ God when I do pray.
It seems I apologize frequently.
A sort of social knee-jerk for me when I sense any potential for imminent conflict or uncomfortable tension in a circumstance or relationship.
As modern, culturally conditioned parents and Christians, we’re taught to be über sensitive to others. To do our best to avoid being rude, offensive and presumptuous with our faith or beliefs. As a result I and We often take the ‘high’ road of avoidance in an effort to simply reduce the stress on our own lives. That ‘appears’ to be the right thing…until you really think it through.
As Parents… we’re called to lead. As Christians we’re called to be distinct in our world, “light” in the dark and “salt”for flavoring ?
What happens if we simply fade back into the word-work and allow other more vocal and angry folks to paint the context for Christianity or Culture without our voices? What if we refuse to risk rejection in a vain attempt to be conciliatory and safe?
As I study – grow and learn from scripture, I’m captured by the boldness of men and women of Faith. Those who threw off the social ‘norms’ and status quo to embrace a new way of living from an emerging gospel that brought truth and clarity to the lost and confused.
A Pilgrims path of understanding and reconciliation that included openly confessing their beliefs in the Cross of Christ and sharing with others of the ways in which His gift of forgiveness had released them from enduring a life of captivity & shame.
The emphasis in the early church* was of a passionate compulsion to reach out to others, to share, to rescue and to love, not to pull back in restraint and apathetic – distant – contemplation.
God help us to be ‘bold’ and “loving’ followers of Jesus, clearing our minds and hearts from the self-imposed ‘shame’ of an apologetic gospel. Following Christ may cause some confrontations from time to time, but in the end… if we’re motivated by love, it can only heal, restore and redeem those who it touches. Help us to be your ‘hands and feet‘ to a world that continues to spiral out of control.
Parents, lead on!
Oh, and fellow believers….let’s stop apologizing for the clarity that comes from living for and in Christ.
*for reference, check out the Apostle Paul’s’ letter to the Colossians and Philemon in the New Testament. (Source – BibleGateway)