Sunday morning my heart felt heavy, disturbed. I didn’t know why but as I went to church, I prayed for understanding of this weight on my heart. I continued praying through worship and felt the heaviness begin to dissipate as I submitted to God.
We had a guest speaker, Tim Ross, author of “Upset the World.” His message was just for me (I love it when God speaks to us through others with just the right message at just the right time). Pastor Tim’s message was delivered with humor and filled with truth. It also just happened to be over a passage in the Book of Acts that I was scheduled to read in Monday’s devotional plan. Have I mentioned that God’s timing is perfect?
The gist of Pastor Tim’s message was that “upset” simply means to turn over. When Jesus and His followers talked to others, they tended to upset or turn over their way of thinking. As Jesus-followers today, we are called to live upset lives … lives turned over by the Holy Spirit.
He noted that:
- Upsetters are attractive
He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.”
Act 17:3-4 NLT
- Upsetters are distractive
But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd.
Acts 17:5 NLT
- Upsetters are upsetting
Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too.”
Acts 17:6 NLT
Why did this message dive into my soul? I believe it’s because I’ve been anxious about how my message would be received by others. Especially in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to turn over Roe v Wade, would it upset people if I express my beliefs about abortion?
When that decision was announced I was both glad because of the lives it would potentially save and anxious because of the further dissension it would cause in America. What would be the fallout? How could I express my beliefs without being misunderstood and judged?
The answer is that I can’t control how others respond to the message of Jesus. My job as His daughter is to speak His truth in spite of the potential that truth has to upset others.
I am pro-life. God created us in His image and human life is too precious to throw away. I also believe that women who are in a position where they believe abortion is their best choice deserve to be treated with love and compassion. They don’t need our harsh judgement; they need our help. They need the truth. And the truth is that in their situation there is no easy choice.
Choosing to keep and raise a child is a hard decision that will turn over their lives. Choosing to have the baby and allow another family to adopt him or her is a hard decision that turn over the lives of two families. Choosing abortion is a hard decision that will end one life and cause emotional and mental trauma in another. Abortion has two victims: the baby and the mother…actually three victims if the father is involved in the decision as well.
How do I know? Because two people I love have chosen abortion. And both have experienced years, even decades, of emotional trauma, guilt, shame, and regret for that decision. The lie they believed was that it wouldn’t matter, ending the pregnancy would mean they wouldn’t have to think about it anymore, and they could go on with their lives as usual. But abortion will turn over your life just as will raising a child or giving a child up for adoption.
Choosing life may seem like the harder choice, but it is the right choice. The right choice for the baby is to give him or her the chance to live. The right choice for the mother is to offer help, love, and whatever assistance we can so she can find hope and healing for the future.
As followers of Christ, we are called to love the lost, broken, and hurting. We are called to stand up for those who are oppressed and who can’t stand up for themselves. We are to show people the healing and liberating power of God’s love. We can’t do this if we are too busy standing in judgement instead of offering forgiveness and hope.
A few hours after listening to Pastor Tim’s message, I saw this post from Levi Lusko about the church, Christ-followers, women, and abortion. I hope you take a moment to watch because he says what I was thinking. Yet, another example of how God places the right people in our paths at the right time with the right message.
I will choose to speak life-giving words filled with truth and love. It may upset some people, but it may also draw others toward God and lead to salvation and restoration.
Let’s be upsetters whose words and lives spark others to live upset by the Holy Spirit.