God is the author of the human story. He loves most and he knows best. To speak of love is to speak of him. He created us all and all that is. That’s the first part of the story and it’s good news. The bad news came quick, when we first listened to the wicked whispers of the dragon as he asked, “Did God really say?” We fell for it then and we fall for it so often now.
Our problem isn’t often that God’s commands are confusing, it’s that we want what we want and even if it’s sweet-tasting poison we can’t seem to keep from drinking it. That’s me. That’s all of us. What comes naturally to me is often not what is best for my family, my community, and me. I have to listen to what God says, because he made me, loves me, and has invited me into a better story than I can tell on my own. He’s invited me into the new life of Jesus Christ and his way of love and forgiveness and obedience. Yes, obedience too.
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, not form a fashionable alliance with him. We are called to die to ourselves and follow Jesus. I’m not sure about you, but it’s a work in progress for me. And sometimes I don’t feel like I’m making as much progress as I would like. But the solution for me isn’t to indulge in comforting lies that keep me in chains. I need a community to call me to repentance and joy in Jesus.
I need to be called to faithfulness. And I need to heed the call to faithfulness. I have to repent and turn away from something (my sin) and to something (God’s way of love and life).
Fidelity is an ancient virtue that people have been fighting on either side of for all time. It began in the garden and now it’s in your supermarket.
I am genuinely the best version of myself when I’m faithful to God and others in my home and community and world. Fidelity is beautiful.
I am the worst version of myself when I throw off my duty to my fellow man and indulge myself in pride and self-centeredness. Arrogance is ugly.
Arrogance is alluring. It says I know better than God and have this satanic certainty that if I act on my urges and follow my own self-interest I’ll be fulfilled and happy. It’s in greedy businessmen who love money more than people and in churchmen with a secret pornographic habit. It’s pride. It’s sin. It’s ugly. It’s bad.
We don’t need to be affirmed in our sin. We need to be called to fidelity.
Princeton Professor Robert P. George (a devout Christian and—bonus—a West Virginian) founded national Fidelity Month as “a month dedicated to the importance of fidelity to God, spouses and families, our country, and our communities.” Whether or not Fidelity Month is broadly adopted and “successful” isn’t the point. Faithfulness is worth it, regardless of acclaim.
I was married in June, so it’s a great month for me to focus on fidelity. I don’t need to obsess over other people’s sins as much as I need to grow in virtue myself. That’s the aim of this month for me.
That being said, I want to be clear. My calling is to love and serve kids by giving them faithful stories that call them to faithfulness and bravery in the face of evil. I don’t write safe stories. I aim to inspire kids to become dangerous to the darkness. And the work of darkness is fashionable in many ways.
I hate the dark work of child predators. Those who expose kids to sexual deviancy are preying on children and breaking down barriers that make grooming them for abuse easier.
Preying on kids, including exposing them so young to sexually deviant adult activities, is evil. It always has been and a rise in popularity is not an indicator of its goodness. Mutilation of confused kids is grotesque and wicked. It should not be tolerated. It must not be celebrated. To give in to that trend is to hate your neighbor and betray your God. It is an attempt to replace God with a crummy usurper—Satan, or self.
I usually don’t spend a lot of time on criticism. I intentionally don’t spend much of my energy on sorting through and reacting non-stop to the various sins the culture champions, left or right wing versions. That will be a gesture for me, not a posture.
So what is my posture? It’s telling stories. Good stories. It is, God being my helper, living a better story.
And there is a better story. A better story! Tell it. Keep telling it. Tell it by being faithful this summer in your worshipping and work. Tell it in your shopping, attention, and affections. Be faithful this summer and always, no matter what the gatekeepers of what is cool command. Faith over fads. Faith over the sin of pride.
Tell a better story. Live a better story. Jesus is King.
Fidelity in June. Fidelity forever.