I hope you will no longer be willing to ignore people who hurt.
Oppression, injustice, poverty, bigotry and abuse are real and present. But it doesn’t have to be this way. God put you and me here to make this world a better place, a more beautiful place. When Jesus left, He asked that you and I continue to change and love the world. The mission and purpose of the local church was never intended to end at the edge of our community.
King Solomon writes about the heart of God: “Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, ‘Hey, that’s none of my business,’ will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know–Someone not impressed with weak excuses.”
So whatever the cost, go in the name of Jesus and love people who hurt. Tell them and show them that God has a better way, a more beautiful war, a life-giving way.
Educators have discovered an interesting phenomenon: We learn best and comprehend more when our minds are disturbed. In other words, the more people are bothered by what they are being taught—because it is new or radically different and they disagree—then the more likely the information will change the way they think and live. The process of wrestling with difficult concepts makes them better thinkers and ultimately deeper people. The process even has a name—cognitive conflict (or disequilibration).
Jesus was brilliant at this. He masterfully used parables or illustrations to disturb those He taught.
Being disturbed is not just a good way to learn—it’s necessary for transformation.
Jesus would always propose equilibration to people’s thinking by offering a better way to live, a more beautiful way to live, a more godly way to live. But He let them choose.
Spiritual transformation often happens in the moments of life that stun us. When we experience, watch or hear of something disturbing, it creates this cognitive conflict that can change the way we think and live.
You may already know how diamonds are formed. Carbon, which is just black dirt, is compressed by millions of pounds of pressure by the earth’s weight. This extreme pressure and heat from the earth’s core transform the carbon into something pure and beautiful. The greater the heat and pressure, the more pure (or clear) the diamond forms.
In much the same way, I’m convinced we are transformed through moments of spiritual conflict. Under the pressure of going globally and giving our lives away, we open ourselves to the possibility of God crafting something beautiful in our souls. He uses the pressure of the experience and the heat of the moment—sometimes literally—to transform us spiritually and make our lives a bit more beautiful.
We have two options. We can choose to stay and ignore. Or we can choose to go and see and be disturbed. One choice leads to a kind of death; the other leads to life and change and hope.”
— Walking Through Hell, written by Palmer Chinchen