How to stage a revolution

In a Sunday School meeting recently, we talked about Jesus as a revolutionary. And the question at the end of the video was this: We’re all going to die. Will you die as a spectator or a revolutionary?


It’s a question I can’t shake lately. I wasn’t made to be a spectator. I like to be in the game, and when it comes to living the Christian life, I’m not content to be a pew-sitter. I want to be where the action is.

Sometimes, that’s an overwhelming thought. And even using the word “revolution” has overtones I’m uncomfortable with causing me to voice excuse after excuse.

A revolution? I’m just one person!

The world is too messed up to change!

What difference will I make anyway?

Here’s the thing about a Jesus-style revolution. It’s not the sort of total overthrow I imagine when I think of a revolution. It’s not a storm-the-gates-of-government-and-take-people-hostage action. It’s not violent or forceful.

It’s more like the words to this Jars of Clay song, Small Rebellions:

If our days could be filled with small rebellions

Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all

If we stand between the fear and firm foundation

Push against the current and the fall

This revolution is small rebellions. Against excess. Against hurry. Against selfishness. Against cruelty. It’s a hundred decisions every day to not do things the same way as yesterday.

It’s a smile to the person behind the register whether they deserve it or not. It’s a generous tip to your waiter or waitress even if they haven’t earned it. It’s letting someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store, even if you’re in a hurry too. It’s choosing to say “I don’t need that” even if you want it and could afford it. It’s refusing to believe you  need more or better when what you have works just fine.

There was a time, I think, when Christians wanted to change the world. And maybe we abandoned that because we couldn’t see any progress. It looked like we were losing, so maybe we gave that up.

But I’m seeing people and organizations who are still working for that. And sometimes they’re doing it one person at a time.

See, I think we sometimes expect God to be in the extreme makeover business. As if He sees something that needs to be changed and He’ll swoop in and change it quickly and immediately. And I believe He can do that.

chiselBut I also believe that God is like a sculptor who chips away at the hardness of this world to reveal a work of art that was hiding inside. And we, His people, are the chisel. Our small rebellions can break away pieces of ugly rock or chip through ice and help reveal the true beauty of what’s inside.

Being a revolutionary for Christ will look different for each of us. But it doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. It can be inspiring when we look at our corner of the world, and into the corners of our hearts, to see where we can make a difference in the world.

One “senseless brutal act of kindness” at a time.

One thought on “How to stage a revolution

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