By G.P. Avants
I had first heard the term, “woke”years ago in my high school class. At the beginning of every school year I ask my students to give me the latest teen term so O would first get a clue what they meant and second not misinterpret or incorrectly use it.
I always assumed woke meant just that. With so many people just asleep through life, apathetic, or just unplugged being more awake sounded good. I met students who got involved with causes, had a voice and used it, they had a drive and direction to their lives.
Young people are our future leaders. That is one reason why I made the leap from teaching fifth grade nine years ago. ( Where has the time gone?) I wanted to be an influence these future influencers with the Gospel.
The truth is woke individuals are sought after by the world and the Lord. In many ways we are seeing the battle for our future society being waged in their lives. That is why I felt the Lord nudging me to help my younger brothers and sisters awake to some important truths they will face as adults.
No matter hard you try, you can’t mandate goodness. In a healthy society, people are civil and learn how to treat others well. However there are people who will out right hate you for any display of goodness. Christ told His followers in a backwards world this would happen.
If you want others to practice goodness, model it yourself even when others don’t join you.
Now, if you want a good place to start look at the Ten Commandments. Many people see this as a list of do nots. Instead think of what its telling you to do:
Love God only.
Honor His name.
Put Him first in everything you do.
Trust God will provide everyday and in everyway.
Love and respect your parents.
Build up others more than yourself.
Truly love the people in your life.
Be happy with what you have.
Live by the truth 247.
It’s better to give than receive.
Final thought: Do you want to see good and do good in the world? Go right to the source of all goodness
Unity isn’t Uniformity
Not everyone is going to have the same opinion. Where is that even possible even with identical twins? When everyone thinks the same and has to have the same mind on something that is called uniformity. That is more machine-like behavior than human behavior. To make it work everyone has to be on the same page and anyone who does think or act differently upsets the whole mindset. That is not a realistic view of people, culture or society.
What we should be seeking is unity. That means that people of different ideas, beliefs, or ideas find a common ground to agree on. The beauty in this is people still retain their original opinions and thoughts, but something bigger and more important brings them together. Instead of polorizing ideas that divide, a united group chooses simple, maybe broader ideals that are good more more people, not just a few.
Final thought: Unity does not mean only one thought or opinion to achieve a goal,but works best and more dynamic when more diverse people are a part of it.
Agree to disagree
It’s okay if you do not persuade people to think like you. That does not make you right or them wrong, or visa versa. As the earlier point of unity, people are individuals. That is a fact that won’t change. Yes, opinions can change and knowing the difference it important. But forcing others to change their opinion only seeks to cause more division than get your point across.
Consider this. Listen to them before you bearate them. A lot of times if we sit down and let people talk we find out where they are coming from and why they believe that they believe. We should not always assume just because they don’t agree with me, that they are the bad guy in the discussion. See if you understand their character and motives better after sitting down for a discussion, not a yelling match over the topic at hand.
Final thought: If someone has a different opinion, listen before you make a quick judgement.
Beauty in Diversity
It’s a big world out there. No one person has ever been created the same and that’s not going to change. We are all wonderfully unique and one-of-a kind. God loves this in His creation and since mankind is His crowing achievement, wouldn’t you think He would showcase that fact?
What makes the world a wonderful place are the diverse people that inhabit it. What makes the world a challenging place to live in? Yes, its all the people that live in it. God is the one who made family, community, culture, and race to exist on this one planet. Ask yourself how many races there are in the world? (Did you take a guess or look it up on line?) The truth is there is only one human race with many unique and beautful faces. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect place. Because of our natural sinful nature (sorry, but we did inherit that) no people group does this life thing right. People have screwed up and will continue to do so until the day the Lord returns. The people who have been the healthiests and most together even in the face of injustice learned how to forgive their enemies, grow from the challenges they face, and not let that root of hate and bitterness sprout roots. Have you considered that maturity comes with a cost? It’s good to listen to voices of people who have become better not bitter because of their time on earth.
Final thought: Find your place in the world. Then understand the world has unique issues that aren’t always universally the same. We can all relate to others, but not always. And that’s okay.
If you are a young adult who is woke consider what it means to me awake. This might be the very crux of this short piece, but the world doesn’t revolve around any one of us. Our ideas that sound good in our head need to be examined in the real world before we get on our soap box. Not every social warrior issue is ours to stand up for. We can’t do it all but we can do a few things or one thing very well. So choose your passionate thing wisely. Might I also say, if you want to change the world, it might be a great idea to talk to the only One who changed it for good. The don’t call Jesus wonderful just because it sounds nice.
Good advice backed by strong logic, Gary. An honest person taking an honest look at Christianity will eventually have to accept that Jesus was who he said he was and what he taught was truth. The proof is overwhelming.
There is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.