Don’t Shrink Back

Don’t Shrink Back

“If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38

I don’t think there are many 10-word phrases as powerful as this one.

I don’t think there is a better verse to explain the seemingly inexplicable shifts in our society today.

The most moving part of President Obama’s last press conference of his career follows and points to the very nature of the verse, the very idea of shrinking back…

“This is part of what I meant when I said we’ve got to think what is happening to our political culture here. The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.

But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values. Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s OK to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like.

And what I worry about — more than anything — is the degree to which because of the fierceness of the partisan battle, you start to see certain folks in the Republican Party and Republican voters suddenly finding a government and individuals who stand contrary to everything that we stand for as being OK, because that’s how much we dislike Democrats.”

We can not look at the horrific images of a humanitarian crisis coming out of Aleppo and shrink back.

We can not read about acts of racism and discrimination and hate against our fellow human beings and shrink back.

We can not watch children bully others in the name of a presidential elected official and shrink back.

We can not shrink back and overlook evidence of election tampering by another country.

We can not shrink back when a cabinet leader position is offered to an individual who oversaw the largest social media platform for the alt right.

We can not shrink back when a cabinet leader position is offered to an individual who toasted Putin with champagne.

Believers, we can not shrink back when we are moved by the Holy Spirit to speak and to act.

We can’t shrink back because we’re worried about what other believers will think of us.

We can’t shrink back and hide behind an allegiance to man- made parties and titles and denominations, fearful of stepping away from the fold even when it has lost its way.

We can’t shrink back, cowering behind the prideful inability to speak out against blaring discrepancies in our faith’s values because of a vote cast in November.

We can’t shrink back into the comforts of tradition when traditions transform into legalism.

We can’t shrink back into the marginal shadows, blinded by the spotlights of sin seekers, afraid of being caught in their glaring gaze.

We can’t shrink back beneath the familiar blankets of religious  and political conformity, especially when the coverings begin to look less and less like Jesus.

We can’t shrink back into archaic man-made roles within the security of our churches’ walls when the Holy Spirit is calling us out into the wilderness places.

We can’t shrink back into the shackles and bondage of legalism when the Holy Spirit calls for us to be free.

Don’t shrink back! Step out in faith to where the Holy Spirit is leading. Be transformed and renewed in seeking after the things of Jesus, not the things of the world.

1 Comment

  1. Clark Roush
    Dec 17, 2016

    One of the finest things written in a while. Went both to the head and the heart! Thanks for sharing, and for being: bold, but not beligerant; fierce, but fair; clarion, but kind; insistent, but informed; and helpful, but not hopeless!!

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