A Winsome Faith in a Cancel Culture

A Winsome Faith in a Cancel Culture

Article by Stacie Johnson
“Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful” Mark 10:22

Everywhere we turn, our world is becoming more polarized. There is very little space for the mindful Christian to consider the complexity, beauty, and challenge of our everyday lives. We are asked to take a side, take a stand, and be the loudest person in the room.

But this is not the way of Jesus. Jesus was winsome. He brought the Gospel with compelling attractiveness. He modeled all that was good, true, and beautiful while holding the conviction and compassion of God’s heart. He brought conviction without becoming combative. He brought compassion without compromising the truth and holiness of the Father he served.

To find our way forward in our lives, families, and communities, we must rediscover his winsome way. This learning will take time, but the way is worth it. Here are five essential ingredients to living a winsome faith in a cancel culture:
Confident Conviction
Jesus lived in the confidence of what God revealed about Himself. Jesus knew the will of the Father (John 1:31-34). He knew what God was up to in the world and how he was to join the Father in the lives of others. Jesus was not just convicted about what was true. He was confident in Who was calling him to the world. We can also be confidently convicted in a world looking for real answers instead of finely crafted manipulations.
Confident Humility
Jesus’ confident conviction anchored his own heart in who he was and why he came so that he was able to be for the good of others (John 13:3-4). Because of his confident conviction and humility, Jesus never needed someone to agree with him to make himself feel better or retaliate when offended. Confident humility enables us to be for the good of other people, even when it means not winning the argument, serving the ones who injures us, forgiving deep offenses, or trusting the Holy Spirit to work in His own time. Humility reminds us that every inch of ground we walk on is layered with grace upon grace. Conviction without humility is an abrasive formula for destruction.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” The courage of Jesus led him to surrender all for the sake of the Father’s will, including his own life. Deep faith requires courage. When we are at our testing point, courage allows us to lose the affirmation, lose the friendship, lose the approval, or lose the job (Matthew 10:34-39). Only in the losing do we discover the abundant life, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Do you trust Christ to lose everything else? Do you have the courage to believe that those without Christ have nothing?
Do you look at the world around you and allow God the move you to compassion? (Matthew 9:36) Jesus was moved to compassion, but not because people were injured, sorrowful, or stressed. He saw their deepest need. They needed a shepherd, and it was this unmet need that moved him to compassion. Will you be moved for the same reason?
Jesus was abundantly clear. The most important thing about us is not whether we can speak truth, make a point, or save a suffering friend. Good fruit must come from a good tree. (Matthew 12:33) We must be deeply formed by Jesus and allow him into every nook and cranny of our lives. Who we are leaks out of the cracks of our lives and creates an aroma that will smell like death to some and life to others (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). May we be the aroma of God’s relentless, uncompromising, generous love!
May we be people who bring the winsome truth of Christ to the harassed and helpless. May we walk with confidence, compassion, courage, and character. Only then will we begin to learn the way of Jesus in the world.

Stacie Johnson

Former Pastor of Equipping & Worldview Formation
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