The heartbreaking temptation to prove ourselves

THIS ARTICLE from Russell Moore is a must read. We don’t want to just know we’re “right”… we want to WIN and then shove it in the faces of people who think we’re wrong.

Much of what passes for “political action” or even just “cultural engagement” is really about a sense of injury—more specifically a sense of humiliation: “You think you’re better than me, and I’ll prove you wrong.”

We want to be vindicated—in public. We don’t just want to win; we want to “own” whoever has mistreated or made fun of us. We want to be respected, to be affirmed, if for nothing else than to boost our numbers and our political power.

Moore looks at the three temptations of Christ and points this one out as a current struggle in American Christianity. As I read it I find myself more in that category than I like. My walk with Christ is one that is assured. It does not need proving to anyone else. I need not prove the depths of my beliefs to anyone, yet I struggle. The power of the resurrected life is not in “owning” people who don’t believe in resurrection. The power is in the walk day by day with the One who IS resurrected. That will have proof all its own, even if we don’t hear anyone else acknowledge it in a way WE deem “right.”

My challenge is to walk humbly with my God.

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