What Does it Benefit

Sometimes I open the Bible to look for ammunition. I know that’s probably not the best use of my time, and it definitely isn’t the intended use of Scripture, but I still fall victim to it. I think many of us do that, and I think it has a lot to do with our insecurities.

We demand rightness and for everyone to know we are just so right all the time.

Just the other day an article was shared with me that had a title like “Millennial Christians have to Stop These Things.” As a millennial Christian, of course I read the article immediately. It was another of those hit pieces where huge societal problems were blamed on my generational cohort and our “acceptance” of one sin or another. What struck me immediately was how little it made me want to change the way I think or act. This article had the opposite effect on me from the author’s intent.

But then, was that the author’s intent in the first place?

I’m more and more sure that authors of articles like that are simply trying to show their rightness to their readers or the people who already agree with them. They are preaching to the choir. In an effort to appeal to their base, they attack the “other,” blaming all sorts of problems on the different viewpoints of another group.

So I read the article, and I went to find key verses to use in an attack. I went to the Bible for ammunition. I was no better than the writer of the article, and my spiritual arrogance was on full display. What would it benefit me to be right and lose my soul? What if scoring spiritual points and proving ourselves to ourselves is just another version of the same pharisaism Jesus was always up against?

I once had a mentor tell me he didn’t want the responsibility of always being right. He trusted God could handle it without him. I think about that a lot. If my statement, thought, use of Scripture, message to students or people I’m discipling isn’t for the benefit of Kingdom and instead is to show my own rightness, then I should avoid it. I shouldn’t act like I want the responsibility of always being right, because I can’t handle it.

I trust in the One who called Himself Truth and leave it at that.

We’ve dug huge lines of trenches and built barricades and weapons caches in a war against other Christians so many times in history, both literally and figuratively. I don’t want to be a part of that narrative.

I want to allow the attacks against my generation of Christians or my way of thinking to just slide past me missing me completely. I want to return attacks with love. I want to see the “other” as my brother and to want the best for him. I want to be better than I probably will be the next time it happens, but that’s why I need more grace than I think.