We all have buttons. When those buttons are pushed, it’s like we’ve been turned on. We might sit quietly through a conversation, and then someone will bring up something that stirs us, and we are all of a sudden engaged in the conversation in a way we weren’t previously. Not long ago, in one of my many coffees with veterans, a guy brought up a local politician and said he liked him except for the fact that he was against abortion! My ears really perked up. Professing to be a believer in Jesus, I needed to let him have his say. I listened to his reasons and came away convinced even more that abortion is wrong no matter how you look at it. Even though this veteran has a much higher rank than me, he is still wrong. I told him so. But It’s always a good idea to take time to examine ourselves and actually spend some time thinking about what those subjects are. Sometimes the things that excite us the most must be exposed to the light and reconsidered. Actually, being exposed to the light is the root idea of “examine.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” Paul not only addresses the Corinthians on this subject, but he also tells the Galatians, “But let each one examine his own work…” (Galatians 6:4). He tells the Thessalonians, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…” (1 Thessalonians 5:21.) Later, I examined my biblical reasoning on the subject of abortion and came away satisfied with my stance. I held on to what I believe is “good.”

 Some believers come to life when we discuss Genesis chapters 1 and 2 about the creation of the universe and man. It gets them excited. Others get excited about issues such as abortion, pornography, homeschooling, ecology, women’s rights, economic justice, racial justice, serving and caring for the poor, marriage and the family, and many other worthwhile subjects. Unfortunately, I’ve known Christians who focus all their energies on unworthy causes, such as certain styles of worship, particular expressions of faith, or even specific bible translations. There are worthwhile causes that fit the life instructions in the bible, and then there are what I believe are unworthy and divisive causes that bring down the church rather than building it up.

 Particular causes that are true concerns of Christ can inspire us in our lives and focus our attention on what God wants us to do with our lives. Christians whom these causes have inspired have changed the world; slavery was abolished, trade unions began, prisons transformed, child labor laws enforced, the sick healed, the poor fed, and the list could go on. But without exception, every one of those reformers had a central passion that made it more than just social reform. It was the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They lived it, and they talked about it, they preached it, and they revealed it in every aspect of their lives. It doesn’t matter what you are; homemaker, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief! You might be a plumber, a chemist, a salesman, a ditch digger, or a chicken on the street corner advertising for a fast food restaurant! The Gospel should turn you on in how you live your life.