Passivity | Between Two Worlds

May 27, 2009 — 3 Comments

The following is a quip from Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something (via Between Two Worlds).

Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything. We imagine that our inactivity is patience and sensitivity to God’s leading. At times it may be; but it’s also quite possible we are just lazy. When we hyper-spiritualize our decisions, we can veer off into impulsive and foolish decisions. But more likely as Christians we fall into endless patterns of vacillation, indecision, and regret. No doubt, selfish ambition is a danger for Christians, but so is complacency, listless wandering, and passivity that pawns itself off as spirituality. Perhaps our inactivity is not so much waiting on God as it is an expression of the fear of man, the love of the praise of man, and disbelief in God’s providence.

This is a good, strong word for many college students I interact with. I hear quite often language like “I’ll pray about it” or “I’m not sure I’m called to that” when talking about simple steps of Christian obedience. Often times the issues shouldn’t be taken lightly (stepping into leadership, going on a short term mission trip, etc.), but I’ve seen such a tendency to over-spiritualize these kind of decisions in order to avoid taking a hard step.

Let’s think comparatively for a second: do you need to pray for weeks on end about spring break vacation in florida? Do you pray for weeks on end about joining leadership in your other school activities?

I’m just sayin’…

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

3 responses to Passivity | Between Two Worlds

  1. My youth pastor once said that it is easier to steer a moving car than one that is standing still. The ultimate example in Scripture that I see is the life of Paul. By his own admission he was moving exactly opposite of what God wanted, but he was moving… and he was seeking in his own way… and God had the means to get him going in the right direction.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. We Are God’s Medium « Eagerly Waiting - May 29, 2009

    […] 29, 2009 by Tyler David After I read this post this post by Todd Engstrom, I started to think about how I have viewed my prayerful inaction as trusting in […]

  2. Calling | TheResurgence « Ethereal Thought Train - June 23, 2009

    […] goes in line with what I wrote in an earlier post commenting on Passivity in the Church. The root of passivity in the Christian walk I think is the lack of identity as God’s called […]

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