Do Your Laundry and Engage the Issues

I have two of the busiest, sweetest (I’m biased), bundles of joy. Obviously, I’m leaving out the various struggles of motherhood, but we do enjoy one another. And when I say busy, I mean insane. It’s nonstop listening, talking, cuddling, breaking up fights, and cleaning up spills. They are young, so I’m still doing much of the heavy lifting. It’s easy for me to see why many women who are busy at home and at work simply don’t feel they have the capacity to add things like worrying about the issues of today.

But I’d like to encourage you to engage, and not just engage but press in on what’s happening in areas like racial injustice and reconciliation, ISIS, and other current events. I have no desire to add to your burden. Instead, I’d like to provide reasons why you might get involved without taking time away from what you are already doing.

Women in the Church

Researchers have long observed that more women than men attend church. Our service to the body of Christ, then, must include being aware of the world around us, for what is in the world will indeed affect the church.

David Mathis suggests that Christians reverse the popular saying “in the world but not of the world” to “not of the world but sent into it.” Mathis uses Jesus’s high priestly prayer to argue his point:

But notice that for Jesus being “not of the world” isn’t the destination in these verses but the starting place. It’s not where things are moving toward, but what they’re moving from. He is not of the world, and he begins by saying that his followers are not of the world. But it’s going somewhere. Jesus is not huddling up the team for another round of kumbaya, but so that we can run the next play and advance the ball down the field. Enter verse 18: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” And don’t miss the surprising prayer of verse 15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

So often we run from these hard issues, because they seem too hard to tackle along with laundry. It seems they’re best left to social justice workers, pastors, or even the media. Others might simply fear engaging—these issues seem too burdensome. How can we be sent into the world when there’s a child crying over spilled milk in the corner of the room? How can we be in the world and not of the world, when just going to the grocery store is a burden?

Great Motivator

I understand and feel the same tensions. But the Great Commission motivates me to engage and learn. If I am to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20), it is helpful to know what might be on the hearts and minds of those I engage with at the park, the grocery store, and in the church. I don’t want to assume that my burdens are the same as others. I want to be informed so that I can effectively relate to others as I seek to also share the best news they’ll ever hear.

Another motivator is the calling to love our neighbor as ourselves. If my neighbor is from Turkey, Israel, or Nigeria, for example, I’d like to at least know this background so I might ask questions and if necessary and possible, provide comfort. We don’t have to be international reporters to love our neighbors. We don’t have to know much to ask questions, but we do have to care.

We are busy with caring for the immediate, but we must remember the world.

What if we began to talk about current events and topics at the dinner table, while doing dishes, or during play dates, where appropriate? Our children will learn about these things on the playground and in the neighborhood, but wouldn’t it be helpful if we added gospel-informed understanding to what they are learning? What if we began to make praying for these current events a part of our lives? Our hearts would begin to burst.

Making It Easier

Perhaps you see the need to be informed but find the search for information to be overwhelming. The internet is saturated with information, so how might you find something helpful? Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are great way to listen in on relevant issues, topics, and stories without much effort. There are a number of podcasts available, but perhaps The Briefing by Albert Mohler could be a good place to begin. You might also try Question and Ethics by Russell Moore.

Find a news source. You won’t agree with everything shared by a news source, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something valuable. The Washington Post has a new blog, Act of Faith. I also skim the headlines on CNN.com. Christianity Today and WORLD magazine are wonderful resources as well.

Find a few good sites. I find the current events channel at The Gospel Coalition and specifically Joe Carter’s contributions helpful in this area. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission also highlights current events and news from a Christian worldview.

This is not an exhaustive list, but perhaps it’s a start. We are busy with caring for the immediate, but we must remember the world. Taking even one step could prove to be just what the Lord uses as you seek to serve and love your neighbors. We want to be informed so that when we face the discouraging news of the hour, we mourn with hope in the gospel. Let’s be ready to give an answer by hearing the trouble and pouring out peace and hope (1 Pet. 3:15). Let these words from our Savior bring us comfort: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 

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