Into the Foolishness of God

The power of coming into agreement with God's Word and will

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“I want to to suggest that, at 41, if you still feel pressure from the culture to say something, then you’re probably not prepared for the hard cultural onslaught that is coming in the next two decades that will bring you to 61.

For sober silence rather than self-indulgent promotion might just get us through the cultural squeeze we are about to face in the coming decades, and reform us in a manner we desperately need.”  Stephen McAlpine

Our pastor at church has begun a series he’s calling “Unselfie: How to Live Selflessly in a Selfie World.” I think it’s one of the most important topics he could possibly address right now, how Jesus calls us to be sacrificial and authentic while culture says we must filter and promote our latest pursuits. We really are up against some powerful messages from the world about how to best present ourselves, and it’s a tidal wave that I think promises to sweep us away completely if we don’t actively fight against it.

The pressure to say something. Anything. If not on the internet, then in real life. Not everything is a battle worth fighting, although knowing the difference is becoming more and more crucial. I tell my kids most of what they watch and hear online is useless information at best that just takes up more space in their heads that was meant for something better. This isn’t a battle that’s easily won.

The other day they were watching a uTube video of a little boy reviewing Kraft Miracle Whip. My first question was, of course, “WHY are you watching this?! Who cares about a six year olds opinion of condiments?” They just thought it was funny. That’s it. They can’t comprehend my hatred for uTube and stupid videos of useless stuff. I can’t quite grasp it either, but it is high on the list these days of things that baffle and perplex me.

I’m pushing forty now and maybe it’s just because I don’t feel like I have the headspace for all the random junk that’s out there. I’m more about quality over quantity these days. I don’t believe in reading every new book that comes out, and there are a lot of them. The messages of the day are self, self and more self. Everything has become really grey, as people whom we trust or who have a platform to influence believers cave to culture while tossing in a bit of Jesus for good measure. In the end it’s about selling feel-good stuff that gives you the readers equivalent of a sugar-rush and then inevitably, a crash.

I think the internet has (wrongly) taught us that the most important thing we can do is put ourselves and our faces out there with our big opinions and clever takes on everything from mayonnaise to Bible reading in order to be seen. The manic need to self-promote over Jesus-promote is such a sign of the times we are in. We are convinced that we need to make some kind of phony platform for ourselves so we can get noticed so we in turn can share some truth.

I think it works in reverse. Each of us already has a platform from which to start discipling right where we are at. It starts at home and in our little circles. It starts when we stop self-promoting and put others ahead of ourselves. It flourishes when we stop fretting about what culture wants us to say and ask Jesus what He wants us to say. There must be times of “sober silence” when that old flesh of ours has to be crucified a bit, because there’s a world out there that needs to hear solid truth. Not “my truth” or “your truth”, but Biblical truth that doesn’t change with the winds of opinion.

That pressure we feel from culture to “say something” doesn’t have to steer us. How amazing if we would all just take some “sober silent” time to see what Jesus would have us say before we run amok with our words. He absolutely wants us to speak up, and when the words are His, they are powerful.

Lord, help us see the difference between self-promotion and promoting YOU. Help us lay down our selfie life and choose to put others ahead of ourselves so that Your kingdom can be promoted here on earth. Give us discernment to know when to keep silent and when to speak up.

8 thoughts on “sober silence

  1. Ah, this is beautiful. And so true. I’m a few decades from you, but I can tell you “Sober silence” is sounding better every day. I love taking short, silence breaks during the day. I don’t get many. Most of them occur late at night when everyone but me is asleep. My wife and I co-parent four and seven-year-old granddaughters. At times their sugar highs that last hours. So any moments of sober silence during the day are blessings from heaven. Thanks for sharing. This is a great piece.

    1. SharaC says:

      thanks so much Steven! Sometimes we have to take what we can get, it takes sometimes a bunch of noise to make me appreciate the quiet times more. blessings to you!

  2. Red Letters says:

    Absolutely spot on & I completely agree. I’ll be completely honest, I can get sucked into the whole over promotion thing & have to rein myself back in and remember the real reason why I do what I do. Its all for Gods glory, not my own. I appreciate the gentle reminder. Hayley 😊

    1. SharaC says:

      Thanks Hayley for reading, it’s easy to get sucked into the wrong things when everyone else seems to be doing it! :0

  3. Laura says:

    Lots of good thoughts in the post! I shared it on twitter. Love the sermon series title. And this is succinct: “The manic need to self-promote over Jesus-promote is such a sign of the times we are in.” And I agree that we need wisdom about when to speak and when to be silent. Besides, none of us are experts on every issue – and speaking up can just reveal our ignorance.

    1. SharaC says:

      Thank you for sharing it – I totally agree, none of us are experts on everything and we should never look to a single person for all the answers, I think it’s part of how we get all tangled up in the first place. Appreciate your thoughts! Shara

  4. So I found you through John’s blog, The Artistic Christian, and after reading a couple of posts here, I think I’ll pull up a chair and stay awhile. 😉 Great post!

    1. SharaC says:

      Thanks so much Lynn! Grateful to share and read along on your blog as well, your pictures are beautiful!

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