Creation, Not Negation
Sometimes Twitter wears me out. The constant focus on the negative, the endless criticizing, and the flaunting of moral indignation can spiral me downward into a morass of anxiety about the future, self-criticism, and frustration with other people. While some of this is good and necessary, living in that swampy bog is depressing and unconstructive. So this quote by Jonathan Puls really resonated with me when I read it in the Biola Project:
“While renunciation of evil is necessary, Christianity is not ultimately a religion of negation. Christianity is fundamentally creative. My life as an artist has been an attempt to live out this verse, and there are many spaces in each of our lives in which we have the responsibility to create overcoming goodness.”
Christianity is not a religion of negation. It’s not about the “Thou shalt nots,” although that’s what those immature in the faith often hear and focus on. Christianity is ultimately about creation and redemption. Jesus came to “seek and save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) And the commission he gave us was to “Go and make disciples,” Matt. 28:19)
So how do we focus on creation and not negation? We make conscious decisions not to live with the negative or dwell on the seeming triumph of evil, and instead steep ourselves in verses like “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy,” (Psalm 126:3) and “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people,” (Psalm 125:2) and “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.” (Rev. 12:9) We look for the ways the world can be improved and we create art (books, songs, movies) or opportunities (non-profits, schools, businesses) or goodness. Romans 12:9-20 contains example after example of ways to conquer evil by creating good and ends with this verse: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
So go create. And do not be overcome by the evil of this world.