A New Life Response to a Fallen World’s Dilemma (By Shane Prewitt)

All of us were stunned last week from the images of the Capitol Building being infiltrated by violent rioters.
We were also stunned by the violent riots that broke out across the summer of 2020.

In each instance, there have been plenty of people who have attempted to justify such actions and give reasons as to why, in certain circumstances, such actions might be warranted or at least understandable.
I continue to find many professing Christians’ response to the troubles our nation is facing to be both troubling and perplexing. The issues that our nation is facing surrounding the Pandemic, racial relationships, and the 2020 election are certainly complex.
I believe we have a responsibility to critically think through such issues and use good judgement regarding how we respond to difficulties in this world. As Christians, our words and actions should matter and our intentions should always be to help society move forward in a positive manner. Jesus didn’t call us the “Salt and the Light” of the world for nothing.
But how we respond to divisive issues is an imperative part of our responsibility. In Galatians chapter 5, the Apostle Paul gave clear contrasts to the consistent actions of unredeemed individuals versus redeemed individuals. The lists are broken into two categories: the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh describe the consistent actions of individuals who have not been redeemed. They do not know Jesus, and as a result, live their lives according to their own thinking influenced by their fallen nature. Paul describes these actions in this way.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, ENMITY, STRIFE, JEALOUSY, FITS OF ANGER, RIVALRIES, DISSENSIONS, DIVISIONS, envy, drunkenness’, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21, emphasis added).
The reason I highlighted certain words in that passage is they certainly seem to be consistent with many people’s response to issues such as COVID-19, the riots of last summer and last week, and the 2020 election. Contrast those actions with that of those who are led by the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-24, emphasis added).
Of all the descriptions of what it looks like to exude the fruit of the Spirit, perhaps the most striking word to me is that of “self-control.” One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the last year is to read and hear so many statements about the problems of the world from professing Christians who seem to be exercising no self-control over the words they are speaking. 
And yet Paul finishes the passage with a very clear statement.
If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (Galatians 5:25-26, emphasis added).

Believers of Jesus Christ, it is okay to be engaged in the modern day events surrounding us and having a voice. But let us make sure whenever we choose to get engaged, we are doing it while walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.