ONE WORD keeps coming back to me again and again. CLARITY. In many ways, I believe this is what we need more than ever — even more than truth. The problem with truth alone is that it can be weaponized.
If I’m convinced that being ‘right’ is the most important thing, I can easily lose sight of greater truths. Even worse, I can easily end up hurting someone in the name of truth.
If anything defines our modern age, it’s an overwhelming amount of information. The volume of data worldwide is skyrocketing. If you believe in something, you can easily find a universe of videos, memes, and blogs to justify your belief. Internet algorithms take full advantage of this. They amplify our fears and desires and turn us into information junkies.
As long as you stay on the app, the algorithm is happy. A lot of people complain about censorship these days, but I see the opposite. Your tiny personal screen hypnotizes you by feeding you exactly what you want.
So in the sea of increasing distraction, we look for something to cling to. We seek something solid and stable.
We embrace messages of apparent strength since nobody likes being lost in the chaos. But instead of looking deeper, we often adopt a one dimensional way of seeing the world.
We want a declaration of right or wrong without any nuance. And if anyone challenges our world view, we dig in our heels to fight. Fear and confusion get channeled into aggression against those that disagree.
Meanwhile, a geopolitical crisis of epic proportions unravels before our eyes. World powers are shifting. People are unhappy, distracted, and afraid. Panic and mob mentality thrive in many places.
We see threats and disasters more frequently every day it seems. At least that’s what the algorithms tell us. Still, when food and fuel are in short supply and inflation soars, things get scary. All this feeds upon uncertainty and intensifies it as well.
So in the midst of chaos, is truth the most important thing? And if so, what truth?
The ongoing fight over abortion is a good example. The debate is complex and never ending. Emotions run hot. Each side sees the other as pro- or anti- something.
When we look across the protest barrier, do we see another human being? If not, the end result is dehumanization. We only see an opponent. And from there it’s easy to oppress, silence, or eliminate those who don’t accept our truth.
Do we end up stomping on the other person’s humanity in defense of life or rights? We label them as a wacko, unhinged, dangerous, obsessed — anything but human.
This extends to a myriad of issues like LGBT rights, immigration, politics, war, gender, and guns. We no longer care about people, only concepts. Virtue signaling contaminates both the left and the right, as only signals matter. We get sucked into the data stream.
Still, we are flesh and blood after all. So we get angry. We feel threatened. We desire justice. Then we bare our teeth and the knives come out while the algorithm keeps humming along. And Satan laughs with delight as we tear each other apart.
I wonder what our Lord thinks about all this rage and hate rising up from his beloved ones? What would he have us do? He already told us. His Word is clear.
Carry your cross. Lose your life for his sake. Give life. Love your enemy. Forgive 70 times 7 times. First seek the kingdom of God. Do not resist an evil person. Do not seek revenge, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him water.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
How much is this being promoted today? This is not pacifism. This is the way of our Lord. It requires great commitment and courage. This is the way God Almighty teaches us — through the example of his only begotten Son.
Search the Scriptures. Find clarity. His heavenly truth rises above all worldly debates. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Give to God what is God’s.
When you adopt this perspective, you find clarity. You see the crucified Lord opening his arms to forgive and save the world. You believe in the Resurrection and the Life. You receive the peace of Christ pouring out from his wounded side to cleanse you, heal you, and set you free.
This does not mean you deny the existence between right and wrong. But you come to understand that people matter more than concepts and ideologies.
So you give real life support and love to the woman who is pregnant and afraid. You reach out with a kind and open heart to those with other lifestyles as you know we are all sinners. You vehemently oppose war profiteering and any culture that glorifies weapons designed to kill humans. You are reliable, dependable, calm even despite the troubles of this world.
You present and represent Christ to all that you meet. And you find Jesus in them. You overcome evil with good — but not because you are any better than anyone else, but since you are thankful that you have been saved by God.
Yes, we all need some simple answers. We need clarity more than ever. We desire everlasting truths.
There are some things we can understand instinctively, even if they are complex. But we must go deeper. Be not afraid.
So we look to the cross. We see the empty tomb. And we believe that God is Love.
. . . . . . .
and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.Matthew 10:38-39
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