Which pulls at you more, the need to pursue justice in the world, or the need to pursue truth?  Consider Peter’s words (1 Peter 2: 9-12)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Peter is encouraging us to both SPEAK and DO what is true and right.  It’s not an either/or, but a both/and.  Although I see the mandate for both roles, I think we are wired to do the one over the other.  Not that we can use ‘our nature’ as an excuse to wiggle off the hook. Scripture teaches us that God has spread His gifts among the body, for His purposes.  We do indeed have a dominant bent, but need to be prepared to do either, though not at the same energy level or intensity. But à la Romans 8:1, there is no need to ‘feel guilty’ for preferring one over the other.  The corollary is equally important: there is no need to try to ‘make others carbon copies of you’.

How do you figure out your inclination?  Maybe examine your heart.  Which gets you more riled up?   – Injustice in the world or wrong/ incomplete knowledge of God?

I’m more inclined to want to build up correct knowledge about God and share that with others.  I’ve often felt guilty when I see friends jump at occasions to help the poor or work with handicapped children.  Give me the opportunity to study and work at articulating the content of what I believe, and I’m happy as a clam.  I think that is why I’m drawn to teaching Sunday school and attending Bible studies rather than organizing the hospitality committee or volunteering at the homeless shelter.

Paul emphasizes both in his letter to the Colossians when he informs them how he & Timothy have been praying:

“We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,….. (Col 1: 9b-10)


And what about Jesus, what did He stress?  If you sift through all His words, I bet you can build a case for either – hence both.  It’s Jesus who answers that the work we must do is to BELIEVE that He is the Son of God.  He encourages His listeners to seek food that will not spoil, to seek the truth. But it’s also Jesus who commends His followers when they visit the down- and-out in prison and share their food with the hungry.

So here’s what I’m telling myself.  Go ahead and follow the inclination God has planted within and give thanks for the good gifts and passions.  But since we’re called to glorify God in everything we do, I’m asking for courageous eyes to see what else He might be calling me to.  I’m not talking about anything extreme, but about those opportunities and needs that cross my path.  Given two facts about God:  a) that He is sovereign and b) that He is in charge of my sanctification, it’s probable that He has planned some ‘gifts and adventures’ that are wrapped NOT in my favorite color or Hallmark design.  But God is good and He has my best interests at heart.  I will trust Him, but I’m asking Him to increase my faith!