We oftentimes find ourselves swimming in superficiality. Sometimes superficiality feels nice. It’s light, it’s casual, it’s predictable, and it offers a dose of ephemeral pleasure. But ultimately it erodes confidence, and it amplifies our anxiety. Simply put, inch-deep interactions with fellow image-bearers won’t cut it.
We often opt for superficiality because we aren’t comfortable with tension. In other words, there are sundry situations in life where we aren’t precisely sure what faithfulness looks like. For example, we wrestle with whether or not to confront a friend who is making unhealthy life choices; or we aren’t exactly sure whether we ought to take certain risks (like traveling to ‘closed-countries’ to tell people about Jesus, or foster a fatherless child, or offer a ride to a stranger, etc.). Being unsure about what faithfulness looks like in a particular situations – is an excellent opportunity to live by faith.
Let me hand the mic to my buddy Denis (he’s got some solid things to say about this topic):
“There is no single definitive formula for faithfulness amidst all the situations of uncertainty that we find ourselves in. And God deliberately publishes loads of examples of this ‘no formula fact’ in Scripture. What we are given instead are foundational truths and convictions rooted in God’s revelation, that we believe are reliable because they speak to the nature of life, and reality as we truly find it in a broken world. So, we can reflect prayerfully and creatively on those ideas and values, seeking to find imaginative ways to flesh them out in the routines and rigors of life.”
I would add…
Actually, you know what, I’m just gonna let Denis keep talking:
“I must consider my reflections not as an attempt to produce a final exhaustive answer, but as a pointer; an attempt to stimulate discussion, exploration, and conviction by a pilgrim passing through this world. And I must always bear in mind that only God is capable of comprehending the full brokenness of the world without sliding into cynicism, bitterness, or despair. As a finite creature I am unable to bear the weight of sin’s destructiveness without ill effect. I feel pressure to stay informed, but the sheer weight and horror of the information becomes corrosive to my soul. Moreover, if my imagination is so pummeled by news and rants of uncertainty and fearfulness that my heart fails within me, then I must choose to invest more time embracing the emphasis and promises of God’s Word than focusing on the wretchedness of a world gone astray. Of course I must live in the world, and I must engage with difficult and depraved realities, but I must do this without worry, without fear of man and uncertainty, and without resentment. I must cling to the Crucified and risen King, and be most of all committed to simply (but not simplistically) following Him.”