|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20
Our thought for today: “Don’t take the bait.”
More than twenty years ago author John Bevere wrote a great book that has become a classic of Christian literature and which is still widely studied by Christians today. The title was “The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense”. The premise of the book is that Satan wants people to be offended and angry because, as James said, anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. So he studies us; he determines the things that are most likely to jerk our chains and cause us to be offended; and then he points them out to us and encourages us to be outraged. The potential offense becomes “bait” and Satan dangles it in front of us tempting us to snatch it and get hooked into being offended.
That was twenty years ago. Personally, I’m thinking too few of us read the book. America today is the land of outrage and offense. Our society thrives on outrage. It exists on all sides of the social and political spectrums and it weakens us as individuals and as a society. Congressman Dan Crenshaw writes, “If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people.”
To be sure, there are things that should bother us and cause us to speak up. But the kinds of outrage and offense that John and Dan write about in their books is anger and offense that is driven by emotion rather than by reason.
Today offense and outrage are not only common, they are trendy. It’s hip to be outraged. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even publicly declared “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!” The message is “Be part of the cool-kids club. Join us in our outrage!” It’s that mob mentality we were thinking about in an earlier devotional in this series.
But according to the Bible, being easily offended, and being driven to the kind of outrage that we’re talking about here, is not cool, instead it’s actually a sign of intellectual and spiritual weakness.
I encourage you to resist the bait. Don’t allow Satan to entice you into participating in the outrage culture. Most things that people allow to trigger them are relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things and therefore should be like water off a duck’s back to us. It should just roll right off. I encourage you to resist the bait of Satan. Don’t allow yourself to be triggered. Don’t be part of the outrage culture.
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