Merriam-Webster offers these synonyms for ‘outraged’: angered, enraged, fuming, furious, incensed, indignant, inflamed, infuriated, irate, livid, riled, ticked, teed off. Outrage can also be defined as impassioned anger.
For the last couple months I have been on an extended intermission from life both online and in the immediate world outside my door. I have been recovering from a concussion. It has been a scary time, a trying time, and a very enlightening time. The Lord didn’t cause the accident that resulted in my concussion, but He certainly used it to clean up my perspective. So this begins the series of Post-Concussion Discussion.
When recovering from a concussion the first weeks are spent in dark, quiet isolation. I am one that never stops moving, going or doing. To be honest, I tend to leave very little time for me to be alone with my thoughts. So this was a challenge to me. Yes, I know being so active and busy is counter-productive to being in relationship with the Lord and this approach to life is a hindrance to growth emotionally and spiritually (just one of many grand epiphanies of late). So when I fell, the Lord had the perfect opportunity to have some alone time with me. And boy did He take advantage of it! My perspective on many things has completely changed.
The Amanda that fell off her yoga ball (another story for another time) is not the same Amanda that is sharing with you now. During that time in isolation, I had some great conversations with my Lord, but I also did a lot of listening, probably more listening than I had done in quite some time. Ready or not…here comes one clarified perspective (aka Grand Epiphany #1).
I am OUTRAGED at what people choose to be outraged by. I understand that there are some things that get under our skin, annoying little nuisances. However, things that should be just gnats, people treat them like giant, flesh-eating beetles. Currently, so many folks seem to be outraged at professional football players’ response to the national anthem. No doubt, it’s annoying. It annoys me how a group of people living in a free country, who get paid a ridiculous amount of money to play a game, chooses to disrespect their country. But outraged? No…I’m not outraged over this. Some people are outraged at the latest offensive tweet by our president. Really? I’m neither surprised nor outraged by this. Come on folks! We have serious stuff going on in our world right now.
The Bible is very clear that one of the enemy’s sharpest tools is distraction (Nehemiah 6, 1 Corinthians 7:25, Luke 10:38-42). Do you think it’s a possibility that these things, among the other annoying nuisances currently trending could possibly be just that, a distraction? I’m not distracted by these, and I think that’s for one reason. I think because I have had some extended quiet time with the Lord, the fog of distraction and busyness has been lifted from my perspective.
We have war on the horizon and humans starving for food and for love. This outrages me! So I’m outraged by the injustices of this world particularly here in my own country. I’m not discounting what’s going on around the world, but there are injustices right here in our own backyard. I’m outraged that modern slavery exists in this country in the form of human trafficking. I’m outraged that human trafficking is known by our government and is often backed by large corporations. I’m outraged that human trafficking is a $32 billion per year industry and cannot be destroyed because of greed. I’m outraged that up to 300,000 Americans under the age of 18 are lured into commercial sex trade every year. I’m outraged that the average age of a sex trafficking victim is 8-10 for boys and 12-14 for girls. I’m outraged that there are veterans that are homeless and hungry because they can’t get the help they need to be integrated back into civilian life. I’m outraged that many of them fought for the very freedom people disrespect, but end up dying on the streets of the city they live in alone. I’m outraged that veterans make the ultimate sacrifice to fight for their country yet can’t seem to get the respect they have earned. I’m outraged at how Christian churches generally treat addicts and recovering addicts. I’m outraged at how Christians treat each other when they fail (Thank you, Perry Noble, for talking about this at https://perrynoble.com/blog/the-best-question-to-ask-someone-with-an-addiciton-destrucive-behavior). I’m outraged that there’s a war on the horizon for this country and many lives will be lost without ever knowing the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
So, no, I’m not outraged by professional sports players sitting, standing, kneeling or dancing. I’m not outraged by remarks made by any celebrity or sports professional in an interview. I’m not outraged at recorded and publicized locker room talk that demeans women. It’s amazing how the reality of losing your own life can clear your perspective and strengthen your resolve. This concussion has changed me. It’s changed my former need of approval (another blog, another time). It’s changed my level of determination and the focus of my determination. I refuse to be distracted from what I am and all Christians are called to do. We are called to love and to reflect the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. How can we do this if we get so caught up in debates over things that truly have little consequence and results in an inability to show love?
I’m not saying don’t be annoyed or irritated. I’m just saying don’t let it monopolize your thoughts and affect your love for other humans.
Okay…I’ll step off my soapbox. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but if it does please accept my apologies. That is not my intent. My hope is that you will take some time out to think about what really matters in the big picture. Think about what ignites passion in your heart to the point you are outraged by the injustice. Sit down at your family dinner table and talk about what outrages you, and then ask yourselves, “What can I do about it?” I challenge you to ask the Lord, “What would You have me do?” Then be quiet and just listen for the answer. The answer may come from the Word, a moment in prayer, or through someone sharing a word with you. Don’t discount how the answer comes, but be willing to be obedient. If we all took inventory of what we’re passionate about and then took action, I think there might be less to be outraged about. One person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something!
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Realization: I wasn’t rescued, delivered and set free to be distracted. I wasn’t brought out of the Ash Heap to do nothing. Passion and outrage should provoke action in love.
Be Inspired in Love!