I wrote two weeks ago about a “faithfulness deficit” in our culture. I continue to think about this.
I had a conversation the other day when a new thought struck. I don’t have a well articulated theology of spiritual warfare, but I do think a way the enemy attacks the church in the west is through undermining faithfulness.
We question whether the hard work and the rejection and the nastiness and the disappointment is really actually worth it. Someone stabs us in the back and steals our job. Someone we trusted turns out to be completely untrustworthy. We ignore a gut instinct and it comes back to bite us so we question our ability.
I have experienced all of those things and I’ve talked to other leaders who have experienced those things in just this last week.
I think about the conversations I’ve had in Acts this semester with students. I think about the blogging our staff has been doing through the Psalms. I realized this is a tension everyone feels, and has been feeling for thousands of years. David was hated and people tried to kill him. Paul was run out-of-town. So was Peter.
When injustice wins, when we get screwed, when it all blows up in our face, it rocks our world. It rocks our theology. It rocks our logic.
I keep coming back to this reality: not even Jesus could control the outcomes. He was rejected and despised in a big way, but also in a lot of other small, more subtle ways. Like this and this and this.
All you can do is throw yourself into the work and then let go of the outcomes. We can’t control what people will say about us, or what people will think of our work. But we can do the work and we can give it everything we have.
Again, we can’t control the outcomes, but we can choose to stay faithful. And that is a difficult but courageous choice.