Spiritual Lifeguards Save Souls

By Trying to “Do Right” We’re Getting it All Wrong

These days, well-meaning Christians tend to think that “doing what is right” means adhering to a long list of “don’t do this”. In self-righteous pride, we avoid certain things and smugly condemn those caught up in what we work so hard to sidestep. 

But that’s not what God’s Word says.

Learn to do right; seek justice. defend the oppressed. take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. ~ Isaiah 1:7

God’s Sense of Justice

In Isaiah 1:7, God follows his command to “Learn to do right” with an explanation of what he means.

  • Seek justice, not self-righteousness.
  • Defend those being overpowered by bullies.
  • Advocate for children as fiercely as if they are your own because they all belong to God.
  • Stand up for the rights of women in a male-dominated society that makes it difficult for them prosper on their own.

I sense the sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit. Not a condemning, “you’re worthless and messing everything up” kind of condemnation because that message never comes from God (Romans 8:1). But that kind, gentle nudge that says: 

“I made you for more than this. Stop focusing on things that don’t last. Quit fussing about situations that are difficult and frustrating, but also trivial in the light of Eternity. Look up from your hamster wheel. Step out of your comfy bubble. There are people I need you to fight for, not because they’re ‘worthy’ but because I love them and I’ve called you to be the instrument by which I will tell them how much I care.”

Oh, Lord. Forgive me for my complacency and apathy. Cleanse me of all self-righteousness and judgmental thinking. Show me who you want me to reach out to and how you want me to take up their cause. Amen.

A View From Above

Are you a spiritual lifeguard? How Christians often get it wrong when we try to do what is right.
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My son is a lifeguard and yesterday he jumped in the pool to rescue a little boy who had gone down the slide and become disoriented by the churn of water at the bottom. The boy could have just stood up on his own and been fine but he was too inexperienced, confused, and fearful to realize it. 

Can we, as Christians, just commit to jumping in the pool? God didn’t call us to be lifeguards so we could look cool sitting in the chair, work on a tan, and chat with our friends. He put us in the positions we’re in so that we have a clear vantage point of the struggling and we can jump into their turbulent water and help them. 

What would you think of a lifeguard who saw a struggling swimmer and instead of jumping in simply judged her for being such a poor swimmer? Or yelled at her that she should have spent more time in swim lessons? 

What if my son refused to get in the pool because he knew the boy should be able to just stand up and save himself? What if a child drowns because the lifeguard didn’t want to be inconvenienced by getting wet? Ludicrous! And criminal.

And yet, that’s exactly what many of us are doing right now. Oh, we LOVE to blow the whistle at people, but just don’t ask us to mess up our hair or get wet to actually help someone in need.

Your Turn

 If God has put you in a position “above” others, it’s not so you can judge them. It’s so you can sacrifice yourself and your comfort zone to jump in to rescue them. 

 If God has put you in a position “above” others, it’s not so you can judge them. It’s so you can sacrifice yourself and your comfort zone to jump in to rescue them. #justiceforall Click To Tweet

Alright, brainstorm session, GO! 

How can everyday ordinary Christians jump in right now to seek justice, defend the oppressed, and advocate for the needy?

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