Philippians 4:8

The Limits of Outrage

Republished, with permission, from Voice magazine, Sep/Oct 2013.

Recently I read a blog post written by a conservative political columnist and radio host for whom I have mixed feelings. Even though I find that I agree with many of his political views, I find his tone and style of politics not to be my particular style. Still, he’s a gifted writer and this time he shared something I think Christians need to hear. His point is that while he cares about politics and advocates for his point of view, outrage is not all there is to life.

This columnist wrote:

I’m sorry, but I can’t live my life constantly fixated on the political outrage of the day and I can’t be outraged about every…thing under the sun. I go out with friends and talk about stuff other than politics, I play with my kids, I love my wife, I cook gumbo and make fantastic ice cream, I watch a bit of TV, don’t read as much as I should, I go to church, and I try to focus on the good in a world filled with sin and bad and evil.*

There is such an important message here for Christians. A message for me, particularly. While it is good and right to be outraged at injustice in the world, we can’t live on outrage. While it is good and right to roll up our sleeves and make a difference in the world by our lives and our actions, we can’t live on activism. You see, the narrative of the Scriptures is not just about what’s right and what’s wrong in the world and in our own hearts. The grand story is that there is good news available.

God didn’t ignore the evil that the Fall produced by sin. He spoke by the entrance of His Son, Jesus, into the world (Hebrews 1:2). When Jesus cried those anguished three words on the cross, “It is finished,” it signaled the beginning of the end. The power of sin and death, which so strangles the human soul, which ravages the planet, which obscures the glory and grandeur of our great God—this has been defeated, and like a helium balloon, is dying a slow death. Evil, my friends, is not winning. Read more about The Limits of Outrage