What makes you cry?
What messes with you?
What punches you in the gut?
What can’t you stand?
What wrecks you?
What makes you mad?
What is your Holy Discontent?
Holy– Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power. sacred; specified, set apart for a religious purpose
Discontent-a restless longing for better circumstances
A restless longing for better circumstances based on the sacred, not the temporal. An alignment of our hearts with God’s heart for the world. The idea comes from a sermon by a guy named Bill Hybels. You can download the message here. I highly recommend it.
However, today the question was asked to my church. In the middle of a sermon series on prayer that has been challenging me each Sunday, this question was posed. As I sat and listened to a passage on Nehemiah-a guy wrecked by the destruction of a city, I began thinking of my own struggle with holy discontent. It comes down to one number.
A huge number. In dollars, you would be rich. And that number makes a lot of people rich. However, it makes me sick. Literally. It makes me furious. Angry. It brings tears to my eyes. It is why I am doing what I am doing. It is the number I will spend my life fighting. That number represents one word:
Perhaps my mom should have been worried when her 5th grader was reading books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Perhaps this was always my calling. Regardless, I can tell you that the last three years have been a journey into the dark world of human trafficking. I have read more, watched more, listened more, gave more, prayed more, and spent more time devouring anything I could on this topic. I have altered my shopping patterns, my finances, my time, and the direction of my life to spend it focused on fighting that number. Because in a world with resources and wealth aplenty, no one should be beaten, bruised, tortured, trapped, raped, and killed for someone’s elses pleasure. It is injustice at its fines and it is fast becoming the number one global crime industry racking in billions upon billions of dollars because unlike drugs which long has held the number one spot, a human can be sold over and over and over. 8 times a night. 7 days a week. 52 weeks a year.
The beauty of holy discontent is that it messes with each of us differently. Our church was tweeting about it all morning and as I read the things that wreck people, I was instantly reminded that it is not about being capable or having the perfect resume or the right answers or the most experience. It is about the thing that keeps you up at night. The thing that breaks your heart. The thing that causes you to abandon all societal norms in the pursuit. For me it is the injustice of slavery. For others it is divorce, or drugs, or religiosity, or poverty, or homelessness. But in all of it, God is discontent. And while sometimes I wish He would come down and wipe every pimp off this earth, I believe that He can and will use the passion and desires in my heart to effect change. My job is just simply to ask, seek, pray, and do.
What is your holy discontent? Figure it out and feed it. Pray about it. Learn about it. Fight against it. And never ever let become content. Keep that restlessness that comes with it. Only then will God use us to change the world.