By Scott Keith –
I want people to stop telling me to calm down. Maybe the issue isn’t with me, maybe it’s with all of you. What do you all think? When you tell me to calm down, I’m all of a sudden going to think: “Whew, at least now I have permission to stop caring and can just relax like everyone else.” Or am I supposed to respond with: “Wait! Being calm is an option… Not giving a shit is on the table! Holy crap, this changes everything.” Maybe I’m all worked up because I care. Maybe you’re not because you don’t.
People that refuse to calm down make the world go round. Do you think that Paul spread the Gospel to Antioch, Syria, Ephesus, Galatia, and Corinth by calming down? Do you think that Martin Luther ignited the spark that we now call the Reformation by calming down? Do you think that our American Founding Fathers broke away from the oppressive reign of King George III by calming down? Do you think that we kicked Germany’s ass in two World Wars by calming down? Did America (at one time) become the only industrial mega power in the world by calming down? No, we did these things because: 1) the people involved believed passionately in what they were doing or teaching and 2) because they refused to calm down.
Our world is full of people who are plenty calm. These people never take a stand and seem content to live the motto, “what’s good for you is good for you, and what’s good for me is good for me.” That philosophy just doesn’t work. Some things are good, right, and beautiful and others are bad, wrong, and ugly. Not everything is subjective and this world is a better place when a few of us stand up and call right “right,” and wrong “wrong.” Furthermore, when we do so we may look to the rest of you as though we need to calm down; we don’t, you need to get worked up!
I’m going to grab after low hanging fruit from two people who were constantly told to calm down but refused. Romans 1:16-18: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Sounds like Paul may need to calm down a bit. One more quote, this time from Martin Luther. “I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” Maybe he really did need to calm down.
Here is the point: maybe we are all too damn calm. Referencing last week’s blog, our mental modesty has caused us to stop getting worked up about a great many things. In short we have become scared to stand up for what is right that is, the Gospel of truth. When we believe that Christ truly died for us that he truly rose for us and that on account of His death and resurrection we too have new life, we are not calm. We jump for joy astounded in His mercy. Furthermore, we get worked up about the fact that others need to believe this too. We, to the outside onlooker, seem like we just need to calm down. But, we can’t. We are too excited about the Truth and thus truth. We want others to know Christ and to believe, and to be converted. We want them to move from death to life, and we can’t wait.
So maybe we have become too comfortable with the message of the Gospel and too calm. Maybe we need to stand up for what is right more often so that when people see our conviction on all matters, they will know that our conviction is rooted in the Truth who is Christ. Be not calm, be with Paul when he says: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” Be bold in Christ!