spiritual growth

Be Inconvenient

I urge you to be more inconvenient.

Not in a selfish, attention seeking way, but in a way that validates your humanity and the humanity of those around you. I urge you to be inconvenient in the ways Christ was inconvenient.

Here’s how this might manifest in your life.

 

1. Inconvenient people challenge the social structure to include the marginalized.

This could look like (gently) calling out a friend who makes a racist remark, writing your representative about updating civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ people, seeking out community with people different from you, diverting a group conversation to include an outsider, grieving publicly over another police shooting, writing your governor to encourage them to support welcoming policies for refugees, or even just talking to someone at church outside your normal social group.

Some of these things will solicit backlash. Have grace with those who lash out – they are afraid. Have grace with yourself for rarely having the right answer at the right time – you are human.

 

2. Inconvenient people don’t apologize for their needs.

When Jesus needed alone time, he was pretty hardcore about it – just walked out into the desert for weeks at a time. Maybe you need alone time. Or maybe you need a different career, more nourishing food, space for your creative life, more sleep, more challenging reading material, a different church, a vacation, a hug, to learn a new skill and stretch your mind, a prayer, a walk in the woods, someone to listen to you, an honest answer, or more poetry in your days.

Find what you are hungry for and fill yourself with exactly that thing.

 

3. Inconvenient people own their calling.

Often, Jesus said, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing. Get on board or get out of my way.” Sometimes he said, “It isn’t time for this yet – stop pushing me.” In any case, he knew what he was about and he didn’t feel the need to qualify it to anyone or apologize for carrying out his purpose.

You probably don’t have an entire purpose mapped out for your life like Christ did. In fact, I think most of us won’t find a “calling” we’re meant to fulfill for the rest of our days, and that’s ok. But if you’re walking closely with the Spirit, listening, then I’m willing to bet you know the next step, even if that next step is waiting.

If the next step calls you to act, act, and don’t apologize for it. If the next step calls you to wait, wait, and don’t let anyone push you to action, even if it looks productive. (Especially if it looks productive. God save us all from busyness for the sake of looking productive.)

 

There is a fine line between being inconvenient in the ways Jesus was inconvenient and attention seeking – or just being a jerk. (And if we’re honest, Jesus does look like a jerk sometimes in the gospels.)

There’s also a necessary balance between getting what you need and meeting the needs of others. Unfortunately, most of us learn this balance through experience, leaning too far one way or the other. Be patient with yourself, and don’t stop trying.

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