Misplaced Intensity

The next few days for me are work-on-the-house days, getting it ready to sell.  But before I head off to do that, something has been rolling around in my head…

Back in college, we had something called the Preaching Rally every spring (I went to a Bible college, in case you didn’t figure that out from the phrase “Preaching Rally”).  There were about two dozen guys in the school who lived for basketball.  They played in their spare time, they played during class time, and they talked about it non-stop.  I remember ending my senior year Preaching Rally message by saying, “If some of you guys were as fired up about Jesus as you were about basketball, then this city and the world would quickly come to know Jesus.”

Misplaced intensity.

There’s a lot of that going around these days.  Especially about hope.

We’re roughly six weeks from election day.  This will be a historic election–we’ll either have the first African American president, or the oldest first term president and woman vice president.  And a lot of people I know are jacked up about it–they’ll go toe-to-toe with anyone about their stance.  The intensity heats up when you disagree with them.  And it’ll only get more so as the next six weeks pass, and we watch the candidates debate.

Most of these people I know are Christians.  They are (gasp!) on all sides of the fence–some will vote for Obama, some for McCain, and some for Bob Barr (the Libertarian candidate), and some won’t vote at all.  I hear and read a ton about each candidate’s strategy, point of view, blah blah blah.  Political debate is fine.  I’m not against it.  Heck, I’ll even join in once in awhile (usually just to get a rise out of someone).

But I’m not hearing too much about Jesus.  And not the “How Would Jesus Vote” stuff.  Just plain Jesus.

Both major party candidates essentially say the same thing (with differing strategies and ideologies):  the government is our hope.  This whole $700 billion bailout is blatant proof–Uncle Sam to the rescue for bad business practices and poor personal choices.  Whoever is elected President will do more of the same.  Our current president hasn’t seen a spending bill he didn’t like.  We can trace this way of thinking back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, FDR’s New Deal, and even further back.  The message is the same…

If you’re poor…. put your hope in the government.
If you’re sick… put your hope in the government.
If you’re unemployed… put your hope in the government.
If you can’t pay your mortgage… put your hope in the government.
If you want to retire… put your hope in the government.

And many Christians have fallen for this crap.  Many will go all out to defend their political stance, but you rarely hear them speak so passionately about Jesus.  You’ll hear them speak about the need to elect Christian leaders so that we can clean up the moral mess in our country, but you rarely hear them talk about Jesus.

Our government isn’t the hope of the world.  The next president isn’t the hope of the world.

Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. 

If we were as intense about Jesus as we were about this election, then truly great transformation would take place in the church, in society, and in the world through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, the next time you’re tempted to get all jacked up in a political discussion, or leave a blasting comment on someone’s blog, ask yourself, “When was the last time I was this intense about Jesus?”  When was the last time we were so intense about Jesus that we allowed him to transform us, to overcome our fears and serve others in need?

Go to the polls.  Vote (if you don’t vote, you really shouldn’t bitch about stuff).  It is truly important… but place your intensity, not in a hot shot politician or an old military veteran, but in the savior, redeemer, judge, and king of the universe, Jesus Christ.  And let Him use you to bring real change and hope into the world where you are, and where he calls you to go.

OK.  I’ll get off the soap box now.  Gotta go weed the flowerbeds and cut grass…


About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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