DISCLAIMER: I’m in the US, and this post is mostly US-centric. That said, I think non-US folks can still translate the principles herein. I just warn you because I don’t want to confuse you the way I speak of things herein. =) With that, please read on! =)
So, in recent months (and maybe year or two), there has been a “boycott” against a known coffee company. And initially, I jumped on that bandwagon. This company is encouraging something I am completely against! I was “voting with my dollars.”
And that’s when it hit me.
Where in the world does the Bible tell me to “vote with my dollars?” Last I checked, the phrase was definitely not in the Bible (nor was Yen, Euro, or Deutschmarks, just in case you wondered). I know…I can hear your jaw droppin’ at that surprise!!! =)
But in all seriousness, why would am I boycotting? First of all, boycotts these days have a very bad track record. Why? Well, largely because society has drug itself to the bottom of the sludge pit and many of our convictions are lost in the ooze of our selfishness and desires. But even beyond that, boycotts used to work because the company being boycotted was doing something folks almost unanimously were against. So, is this company really going to so far against the curve?
Sadly, no. Said coffee company (yeah, that one, but do I have to type it?) is actually going with the majority now. Many people in our country don’t see this moral issue as a moral issue. They see it as a lifestyle choice, a civil right issue, or even a radical prejudice.
So, where’s the problem? What did I miss here? I missed the original point; that point that was banging the back of my brain, that was calling out from the pages of Scripture, that point that was long before any dadgum boycott! I missed the Gospel!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” I’m going to pause there. Did Jesus say “make boycotters” or “make protesters”? No. He said disciples. What’s a disciple? A disciple is one who devotes his life to the doctrines/teaching of a given teacher. In this case, it is someone who is devoted to knowing Jesus (personally, because He is, after all, alive!), what He teaches, and who lives their life in accordance thereto.
So, am I going to get the chance to convert Howard Schultz? As much as that would be AWESOME, geographically, socially, and pretty much every other way, I don’t think that would happen. But I can pray for him to come to know Jesus.
Did you catch that? I can pray! I.can.pray! I can pray! Prayer, that incredible exchange with God, that time when I can ask God for whatever I need, that time when I surrender my will and my thoughts on issues into His plan and choice for the future, that time when my Father, who is in Heaven, stops and listens to His Son, who is listening to me. I can pray!
I wonder what would happen if everyone boycotting said coffee company would just stop for 5 minutes a day, and pray for Mr. Schultz’s heart to be softened, for someone to share the Gospel with Him, and for that dear man, another of the original branch, to receive his Messiah. I wonder. Do you think that we might see another soul in heaven when we get there? Do you think we might give the world one less cause by which to mock our Lord, their Creator? Maybe, just maybe, before this old world expires and collapses into darkness, we could grab a few more souls by praying for them, instead of boycotting their products.
Now, please, don’t get me wrong. If God moves you to boycott something, by all means, do so! “Meat sacrificed to idols” as the old Christian-ese goes (see Romans 14 for further exposition). At the same time, please understand if I don’t jump on that cause with you; please understand if I drop to my knees, instead.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I beg you to remember that prayer is not our last resort. As I have been so aptly reminded in the last few weeks, it is our first stop! Before we look to our checkbooks, assemble the “troops,” as it were, or even ask “what am I going to do?”, let us first drop to our knees before our ever-loving, incredible God, and ask, “What is Your will, Lord?” Let us not get swayed by monies, causes, or even our own righteousness; let us always remember that ours is “a spiritual battle with human enemies.” In other words, it’s not about strong-arming folks to agree with us but about bringing souls to eternal life by having a relationship with Jesus through His sacrifice and blood.
Let us give up our “causes,” as it were, and live for Him, so that when the insults are thrown, it is only because we are seeking and saving the lost, not because our “God” is “weak” because He couldn’t stop some company from supporting an immoral cause. My God ain’t weak!
As always, it’s just my two cents. Take it or leave it.