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Awareness without Action

There is little merit to knowing about something and not doing something about it. Actions make awareness meaningful and can remove some of the layers of stress that accumulate with awareness of injustice and evil in the world. If awareness is the first step, action is the journey. As the Bible says, "knowledge puffs up, but loves builds up." -1 Corinthians 8:1.

Two things about that Scripture that can help us as we navigate through awareness-to-action.

  1. Love is the action. And action is love. Without doing something about what you know is not right, it will become a further weight in our minds and soul. And the habit of awareness without action will anchor us to despair. If you're not serious about action, temper your awareness.

  2. Temper your awareness regardless and keep your mental health and spiritual life aligned towards balance. Ukraine will break your heart over and over again. Stories about Asians being targeted will well up an ocean of anger. The political sphere will whirl you into a dizzy spell. There's enough trouble in this world to rob our spirit and our hope. Even if you get into "good trouble" as late, great John Lewis once said, we are called to pray, love, rest and renew our innocence as much as (even more than) just scrolling through social media and the news over and over again. Temper. Resist. Limit. Balance.

A disciple is not someone who is an expert in knowledge alone. A disciple is one who uses their gifts, talents, abilities and knowledge to do God's will. Awareness without action is ineffective, even toxic.

When we encounter things that affect our hearts and minds, get in the good habit of doing something about it. Pray. Give. Reach out. Talk about it in small groups to get to a better perspective. Write! Lament. Sing. Get involved in direct or creative ways.

As people of the Spirit, our job is not to gain followers or prominence in the pursuit of our own ambitions. Our purpose is to be fulfilled as children of God and be led by the Spirit to bring about His Kingdom, not ours, in this world.

There is much work to do. There is much harvest to reap. Don't waste your energy on just awareness. Awareness is essential. Necessary. Important. And initial. But there is another step and that's where things change and we change: action.


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