Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Audacity of Everything

Audacity is a funny word. It is not a word we use on a day to day basis. It is only reserved for those special occasions when we really want to emphasize a point about an event, group or individual.

Audacity is defined as "a confident and daring quality that is often seen as shocking or rude." A person who is audacious is one who has qualities that come off as shocking or rude. We make statements like "Can you believe the audacity of them?" The boldness of an individual, belief system or decision causes others to react based on what they see, hear and perceive.

America is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode over a topic in a matter of milliseconds. In the last 48 hours, we have seen followers of Christ get upset over a red cup. "The Audacity of Starbucks for making their cup red with no reference to Christ." The flip side occurs as well. "The audacity of church people for getting up in arms about a cup from Starbucks when there are orphans to take care of and people who are lost."

Our culture has become easily offended by anything and everything. Social media has given us instant access to express our opinion (whether it is right or not) and gain public support in a matter of seconds. We are living in the age of "The Audacity of Everything." Everything can be deemed shocking or rude. This blog, your last tweet, a look from a co-worker, etc. It all has the potential to offend because we are easily offended.

What happened to being able to dialogue on different subjects without worrying about the backlash? Where is our civility? Where is our love and compassion? Where is our mercy? We need to learn how to handle offense again.

How do we handle offense in "The Audacity of Everything" age?

1. Check Your Heart - Why are we easily offended? Is it because the offender made us see something in ourselves that we don't like? What caused us to react to something a certain way? Answer these questions and you may find the offense is inside of you and not with the perceived offender.

2. Go Private Before You Go Public - In "The Audacity of Everything" age, we are quick to tweet or post our grievance before we ever talk to the person, group or company we feel slighted us. Jesus in the book of Matthew gives us a great example of how to handle conflict. Matthew 18:15-16 (NLT) states, “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses." As believers, we should go in private to the person, group or company. We may find that it was misunderstanding or something that can easily be fixed.
3. If all other options are exhausted, then go public. If the person, individual or company still refuses to listen, then you may have no other choice. Matthew 18:17 (NLT) states, "If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector." If we have no other choice, then go public. However, we still have a responsibility to do this in the right spirit. We should never get personal enjoyment out of taken our offense public. In fact, it should grieve us. It should break our heart to have to take an offense public.

If you would like to read more on this subject, a great resource is "The Bait of Satan" by John Bevere.

No comments: