Are you woke? No, I don’t mean are you awake?
In 2017, Merriam-Webster defined woke as, “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” The same year, the Oxford dictionary defined woke as “originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.”
These days, being woke is the PC (politically correct) worldview for corporate America, the world of academia, modern medicine, government institutions and the mainstream media. In other words, #Woke is always trending. And here’s your wake-up call, if you’re not woke, cancel culture will sound the alarm. Suffice it to say that if you don’t believe that the U.S. remains systemically racist and that LGBTQ ideology represents the blueprint for civilization in the new millennium, then you might be asleep at the wheel on the road to supposed enlightenment where equity of outcomes usurp equality of opportunity for all.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Yet the more appropriate question in the age of wokeness, I believe, is are you paying attention and discerning the signs of the times?
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of [godliness, although they have denied its power;”
I’m sure everyone will agree that we live in an imperfect world. Where opinions diverge, however, is over what’s the cure for our societal ills. For centuries, religions, philosophies and governments have claimed to have the answers for humanity’s injustices, imperfections and shortcomings. Yet their attempts to legislate and indoctrinate morality and fairness have yet to fulfill the proverbial beauty pageant contestant’s longing for world peace.
Still, more important than the world’s demand for justice is God’s righteous judgment. And the Good News of the Gospel is that God’s wrath for our sin was satisfied on Calvary’s cross when Jesus Christ took your punishment and mine so that our sins could be forgiven.
GOD’S AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION
In 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, the apostle Paul describes the greatest act for the cause of justice in human history: “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It is unbelievably humbling to know that God chooses Christ followers to be His ambassadors of reconciliation in spite of our imperfections, shortcomings and sinful nature. In essence, God paid the inestimable and unfathomable buy-out penalty on your and my lifetime contract with death – the wages of your sin. Just like the Bible says in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Then God clothes His worshippers in His righteousness, while equipping, empowering and enabling them to do supernatural feats such as loving unconditionally, forgiving exponentially and serving selflessly. Anyone and everyone can be made right with God through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sin and promise of eternal life.
The Holy Bible says there is no need for reparations, penances, guilt or shame for those who have been forgiven by the One True God who is Perfect, Holy and Righteous. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Furthermore, in Ephesians. 2:10, the Apostle Paul reminds Christians: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
In other words, the authority of God’s Word over our lives should bottom-line our decisions based on one question: “What would Jesus do?” To have your identity in Christ is more important than any other pursuit. This means that Jesus is more than a friend, co-pilot, consultant or life coach, He is King and Master over your life.
HAVE YOU BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST?
Imagine if Galatians 2:20 became your life’s mission statement: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Now that’s a cause to live for that’s far greater than any social justice movement.
So, since God created you for His glory, doesn’t it make sense that you would find your ultimate fulfillment in God’s plans and purposes? When we deny our self-serving instincts and stop pursuing our own sense of justice, fairness and equality, we position ourselves to experience God’s best for our lives.
Then, as Christ’s ambassador of reconciliation, you will leverage your time, talents and treasure for God’s glory, and your life and the lives of others will be forever blessed and fulfilled.