We live in a day when people are described by the cause they serve.
“She serves the cause of the poor and homeless.”
“He promotes the cause of justice for all.”
“They have given their lives for the cause of freedom.”
Getting behind a cause brings many people a sense of purpose in life. Some, after having faced a tragedy, take up a cause to right the wrong or improve the system. Actors and other performing artists bring attention to the causes they support. It’s a way of “giving back” to their community or society in general.
As the years go by, our causes can change. We see that easily in politicians, who twenty years ago backed one cause and today another. Few remain constant in their cause throughout their life.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with supporting a good cause, sometimes our causes can sidetrack us from that which should be our main focus in life — the person of Jesus Christ. After all, a cause cannot save us, bring healing to our brokenness from sin, give us a hope and a future. Jesus alone can save and bring true purpose to our life.
What did Paul say? For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.*
The world in which Paul traveled was in desperate shape. The Roman Emperor claimed to be a god, but he was just one of many in the First Century A.D. Children were still given as human sacrifices to the gods of the day. Sexual immorality was rampant. Slavery was widespread and poverty a way of life. Class distinctions were impenetrable.
And yet, Paul traveled the known world of his day, not to end slavery, destroy the immoral idol worship, or advocate for the homeless, but to proclaim Christ and him crucified. Why was proclaiming Christ alone not enough? Because it was the act of redemption that was offered through his sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection that offered the only hope for the human race. It was by knowing Christ as Savior that not just one, but all the problems of the day, could be solved.
We know this as Christians or claim to, but we so many times forget and slip into the easier job of supporting a cause.
We claim the cause of love, but love is not our cause. We are to share the person of Christ, who loved us ultimately by giving his life for us.
We claim the cause of justice, but justice is not our cause. We are to share that only in Christ’s sacrifice is the justice of God satisfied. He paid our debt, the debt we could not pay.
We claim the cause of freedom, but freedom is not our cause. We are to proclaim Christ as the only one who can set every person free.
Are you spending your time behind a cause or a person?
Claim Christ and him crucified.
Grace and Peace
*1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV).