For This Cause

In today’s world, causes are not in short supply:  Healthcare reform, civil rights, climate change, immigration, impeachment, education, animal cruelty, the homeless, vaccinations, Save the White Whale, Save the Dolphin, save “whatever,” house churches, and countless others.  


Cause-oriented and cause-driven people fill Facebook posts; and conversations in general center around those causes near and dear to us.  Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this; however, let me sound a warning, especially to all professing Christians.


God’s people need to remember that one CAUSE overrides all others:  the CAUSE of Jesus Christ.  Even in the church, people tend to elevate CAUSES over this most important issue.  Music preferences, preaching series, prophetic ministry, church government, sound volumes, and other issues catch the attention of church-goers, often “CAUS-ing” division and unrest.  I’m amazed at how often the enemy successfully CAUSES godly people to focus on lesser pursuits.  


My friend, believe me, a lot of issues beckon for my attention; however, I’m becoming very selective as to what I give my time and energy.  I understand that blogs like this tend to put well-meaning people on edge, but this I caution:


If you feel strongly about a given issue, avoid becoming disagreeable in the face of disagreements.
Ask yourself:  Does my approach need to be altered?  Am I building bridges or walls? Have I come across hateful and mean-spirited?  Christians especially, HAVE to consider the “how’ to’s.”
Am I adhering to the “Good-Better-Best” principle in my life?  Always remember, good and better causes abound.  But am I giving my life to those things closest to God’s heart?  In other words, is what I’m doing “cause-worthy?”
Do you understand that some causes are best confronted through fervent prayer?  The infamous quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”  has merit, but be careful saint, that what you devote your life to is pushing back evil, not just reinforcing a strong opinion.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear to believers that ONE CAUSE supersedes all others:  “For this cause (reason), I Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ..” (Ephesians 3:1).  Paul’s cause (reason for living) was to carry the life-changing Gospel to Gentiles. I may be splitting hairs here, but it concerns me when Christ followers spend their time and energy never affecting positive change, ending their days tired and frustrated and living with an antagonistic mindset.  Positive, long-term change seldom, if ever, comes when divisive, at times violent, confrontational hearts demand their way.  Yes, Paul was at times confrontational, but always love-driven.  He says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “The love of Christ constrains (compels) me.”  Another translation says, “The love of Christ drives me…”  Love for the lost was his motivating force!


We may live under a mindset where “opinion is king.” However, the downside to this liberty is mishandling our approach to those issues we feel so strongly about. Talking down to people, degrading comments, and unkind words never achieve righteous outcomes.  It concerns me that the Church in many sectors of society is known more for what we’re against than what we’re for. Do we walk in agape (God’s) love?  


My friend, we possess the greatest CAUSE known to mankind — “that Christ Jesus came into the world to  save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).   YOUR GREATEST CAUSE AS A BELIEVER IS TO TELL ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN!  The believer’s greatest cause is “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)!


Tell everyone!  Witness with not only your words, but with your lifestyle, your actions and attitudes.  If Jesus tells you to speak out against a certain cause, then speak out in love and brokenness.  And make sure that your primary cause — Jesus Christ — is first and foremost! 


Filter every cause through the Cross.  Weigh the temporary against the eternal, and make sure the scales of endeavor first and foremost lean others toward the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. The Proverb says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise,” 11:30).  The preacher encourages us to use our righteous influence to touch and change our surroundings.  He reminds us that there’s our way, and then God’s way of doing things.  Follow the way of wisdom!  Sadly, many causes are picked up by those who employ counter-productive methods. 



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