Today’s Guest Post is from a very dear friend of my husband’s and mine, Kent d Curry. Kent d Curry was the first person to uncover the dream of writing that was in my heart. Always the coach (we knew each other as coaches through the UPCI Bible Quiz program.) Kent prodded, and at times pushed me to believe I could write – and would write. He writes today about What God Hopes. What God hopes for all of us. And what God hopes we will do. Kent d Curry’s wit and wisdom will challenge you, and make you a better Christ follower. Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
What God Hopes
You may have noticed that we live in tumultuous times. For some reason our Presidents are either deified or demonized. No one is allowed to admit they are wrong or that new facts mean a position can change. There is little kindness or compassion in public life, only zero sum games.
What contemporary Christians too often do is hope (or maybe pray) that God will intervene. “Do something God! Go be supernatural and change things!” Sometimes He does, but mostly He doesn’t—not like we think He should anyway. So we wring our hands or shrug our shoulders or get all stoic and take the long view that “we’ll win in the end.”
What God Hopes We Will Do
This is backwards. Instead of hoping God will do something, we should think about what God hopes we will do. Not as silly as it sounds actually. Think of the example Christ gave us. He was born into a world of unyielding polytheists (Romans) and inflexible religious zealots (Pharisees). Jesus didn’t agree with the sinners or the saints, but stood between them and offered something different—a third way. His way.
While everyone’s yelling about Trump or politics or the state of the world, it’s easy to justify going quiet. Or argue to make it louder. Except, going quiet doesn’t create peace, it allows chaos to reign. Arguing our view, even when it’s biblical, often doubles the volume. Jesus ignored the noise and chaos around him by asking questions and exhibiting a humble spirit that created peace—not silence. I believe God is hoping we will create a third way in our own worlds that point inflexible others toward Him—and prove the humanity in others.
So here’s how I’m trying to live Christ in a third way.
In my personal interactions, my goal is to sincerely compliment someone different every day. Doesn’t sound like much, but if I’m sincere, then I have to take my eyes off of my life and find something good in others. Do you know how many co-workers and strangers I’ve lit up with a single sentence?
- “I love your glasses.”
- “That looks delicious. Is there any food you can’t make?”
- “You have this great talent of not speaking in meetings until you have something perfect to say.”
Do you know how good people feel after receiving an unsolicited compliment? Do you know how that creates a peace and satisfaction within that the world of magazine covers and style shows seeks to dissolve? Think about it: How do you see people who compliment others—positive peacemakers or sources of negativity? Who do you want to hang around at work or in your free time? Who are you more likely to listen to if they have something else to say? For me, it’s part of the planting and watering Paul wrote about (I Corinthians 3:6).
In public, I use Instagram as my third way. See, I’m passionate about art and travel and try to find non-believing followers that way. I post my museum findings and tiny travel adventures, betting those with identical passions will want to see what I’ve seen. That’s how I got the Grandma from Italy to follow me. And the guy who makes unusual wood carvings. And the amateur photographer in Chicago. And then, about every three weeks, I post a Scripture. Or a reminder to be kind and forgive. Or something to make them laugh because it made me laugh. Then it’s back to the art and travel posts. I do that because I figure they’re more likely to listen to a fellow art lover-traveler than they are someone just preaching at them. My third way is to let them know there are people just like them who love art, and travel—and Jesus. And maybe that will be enough when they can chose to be civil or uncivil; or a spiritual crisis reminds them that someone out there believes in the power of prayer. Among the plenitude of accounts, it’s a third way. It’s a start. It’s a seed.
Go and do likewise. Choose your own third way to make Christians and non-believers rethink their behavior and live more like Christ.
It’s how we change the world for Him.
It’s what God hopes each of us will do.