By Alicia Searl, Crosswalk.com
Have you grown disheartened and truly concerned for the trajectory of our society? I know I have. It feels like we are full steam ahead on a path of pure wickedness and darkness. Even as I write this, it seems as if things are changing at such a rapid rate. I can't make sense of half of the information being tossed about on news channels, social media, and even among friend groups.
As we have entered the month of June, a month once known for whimsical fun as children ushered in the summertime, our children are now being exposed to sights that make even grown adults blush. The push to hyper-sexualize our society by targeting our precious children is being done so in plain sight, and it's disturbing at best. The pride movement has plagued our public buildings, schools, and is now flooding the marketplace.
As a parent that wants to protect children's innocence, it's become harder and harder to shield their young and forming minds and hearts from these hugely inappropriate images, especially with the ease of technology and the ever-present information at their fingertips.
So, what are we to do as believers to fight this spiritual battle we are in?
Pray! Oh, friend, we must fall on our knees and pray like never before. Pray for our world to soften their hearts, pray for the community that is lost to repent and seek salvation, pray for our children to be safe and protected from the harmful plan that is unfolding before their very eyes, and pray that we can remain steadfast and not bend to anger, judgment, or fall into our own pride.
God Despises Pridefulness
The truth is that the nature of this movement is found in the title itself - pride. Let me be clear here (and this might ruffle a few feathers), but pride doesn't settle well with our God. Pride month is not about celebrating love; it is about honoring our own sinful, lustful nature and selfishness by disgracing and dishonoring the Creator of love.
God is love. He defines it. He tells us what love is. Through the apostle Paul, God tells us that love is patient and kind. Love does not boast or is not proud. It does not dishonor others or become angry. It keeps no record of wrongs and delights in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Real, pure, and innocent love is not full of pride that is self-seeking but instead yearns to love God and others with compassion and selfless sacrifice. Where the world tells us to accept and celebrate "ourselves" and our sins, God tells us to put ourselves aside and put others first. God's love says His ways are better than ours and that we should seek Him for guidance on loving well. God despises sin and prideful love because He knows it can cause rebellion, drifting us further away from Him and causing grave damage to our souls.
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
As believers, we must see love the way God does and honor it as such. When we fear the Lord, as in showing reverence to Him, we long to respect, honor, and cherish what He does. God loves His children. He loves life. He loves us! Our actions and speech must show that we serve a God of love.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
How do we gain wisdom in a culture that is far from God? How do we know if we are actually in God's will or caving into our own fleshly desires? These are legitimate questions and ones we must ask ourselves so we can be sure to etch wisdom into our hearts and minds rather than caving to society and taking on worldly perspectives.
If we want to gain wisdom, we must yield to His Word and submit to His ways. What does God say about pride? What does God say about love? What does God say about any issue we face? Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. Then follow the path in which He lays before us. When we are unsure of what to do, we seek God and trust Him with the next step.
God Is Just, Holy, and Merciful
We must acknowledge that while it may feel and seem that this world is coming apart at the seams, with a sinful divide, to the core of our being, all of us are just seeking to feel approval and to be loved. That's because we were created by a loving God that designed us to yearn for belonging constantly. However, when we seek approval and love in this world, the outcome is not what we are truly looking for. We grow more and more lost, confused, and eventually find that we are more alone than ever. That's because worldly love will fail us and drift us further away from God.
Thankfully, we have a God that seeks after us, searching out the lost sheep! He is always pursuing the one that has wandered off, passionately going after the one that is battered, bruised, and broken (which is all of us) and doing a great work within (Philippians 1:6).
Jesus shows us in Matthew that He didn't come to rescue the healthy but to heal the sick. He invited sinners to sit at His table and have dinner (Matthew 9:9-13). That means Jesus has personally invited all of us to sit with Him.
As Christ's followers, we can sit with Jesus and then take it a step further and follow His example by loving those that are lost, lonely, hurting and in desperate need of His mercy and grace. We have the opportunity to plant a seed and speak the Truth to unbelievers.
Psalms 116:5-6 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
It is so comforting to know that we serve a God that is just, good, holy, and full of mercy. He knows each of us intimately and can bring us out of the darkness and into His goodness, producing a rich and abundant life if we receive Him as Savior (Joh 10:10b). We must share this news with others!
Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
As God shows us His infinite grace and mercy, we, too, must show others grace and mercy. We can share our faith by sharing our own stories, filling it with grace, truth, and compassion. Our testimonies can make an impact by showcasing our God!
God's Love Covers a Multitude of Sins
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.
We are commanded to love all. All people. However, we must understand that love is not the same as acceptance. We must act justly and follow God's commands, love mercy found in forgiveness, and walk humbly by fearing the Lord, submitting to His will and ways (Micah 6:8).
In our present culture, where sin is rampant and selfish love is being celebrated, we mustn't fall in line with those sinful ways and act in a way that honors God. When we are prompted to give into anger or dismay, feeling defeated and discouraged, let that be a springboard to pray with conviction and power.
Prayer to Love Like Jesus
We are so thankful that You are a God of love. Thank you for providing us with a beautiful example of loving others well. We know we fail and will fall short, so please lead and guide us in areas in our lives where we can improve. We need Your love desperately, so ignite a desire to love boldly with truth and grace within us. Embolden us to speak out for any injustice, but to do so with compassion. Lord, please protect the most vulnerable in our society and shield the hearts and minds of our innocent children. Help them embrace the way You created them and to yearn to know more about You and Your love. Equip parents with Your armor to fight the spiritual battles and attacks that are taking place and promote healthy ways to discuss such fragile topics with their children. We wholeheartedly love You and pray we honor You with our thoughts, words, and actions. We ask all these things in Your holy and precious name. Amen.
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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