CHALLENGING CULTURE by Harold Sala

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Have you ever asked yourself what prompts a mom who leads her three grade school kids to the school bus to become a leader in a cultural battle? Or an unremarkable seamstress in the back of the bus to defy the law of the land? Quiet and unassuming people who become passionate for a cause, and to the great surprise of even themselves, often lead the fight for right. How does that happen? What makes some strong enough to lead the fight while others, far better equipped and prepared, are marginalized or give up?

First, you make a difference when you believe in the rightness of a cause. These individuals are driven with passion for what is moral or right. Take, for example, the story of a remarkable woman named Rosa Parks, called the “first lady of civil rights” by the United States Congress. In 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat in the colored section of a bus when the white section of the bus was filled.

Solely the fact that a person believes in a cause doesn’t make it right. But Parks was a devout Christian and was convinced that giving up that seat would be wrong–and she refused to get up. “Since I have always been a strong believer in God,” she says, “I knew that He was with me, and only He could get me through that next step. In her book, entitled Quiet Strength, Parks said her belief in God developed early in life. “Every day before supper and before we went to services on Sundays,” Parks said, “my grandmother would read the Bible to me, and my grandfather would pray. We even had devotions before going to pick cotton in the fields. Prayer and the Bible,” she recalled, “became a part of my everyday thoughts and beliefs. I learned to put my trust in God and to seek Him as my strength.”[1]

Whether it was Rosa Parks or Jose Rizal, each was motivated by a higher cause than just changing society. They believed they fought for what God decreed.

Second, you make a difference in a cause when you are willing to pay the price. That price includes ridicule, being the target of lies and slander, isolation, loneliness, and, at times financial loss and pain. Or perhaps being arrested.

Third, you make a difference in a cause when you don’t give up but continually do battle for what you believe is right. Parks lived long enough to see civil rights gains which she fought for, but she inspired many after her to continue to stand up for right. In the fly leaf of my Bible is a quote by Edward Everett Hale that goes, “I am only one, yet I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and what I can do, I will do by the grace of God.”

Fourth, you make a difference when you put your cause in the hands of God who is sovereign and never takes a backseat to wrongdoing. At times we are intimidated by strong individuals whose lives and commitment have resulted in sweeping changes and are overcome by the helplessness of believing, “I can’t do anything,” and fail to do what we can.

Never minimize the fact that God can still take you, and the small spark you ignite may well produce a raging inferno that can consume dross and make a difference in our world. God will never hold you responsible for what you cannot do, but he will hold you accountable to do what you can. And when you do your utmost for His highest, that’s enough. Never forget it.

Resource Reading: Joshua 1

Text: But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:14-15

[1] Colson, Chuck, The Woman on the Bus: The Faith of Rosa Parks, June 25, 1999. Accessed February 25, 2017.

GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – April 27, 2017