While 2017 is now history, America seems fundamentally different nowadays. There's a lot of angst in our nation – and a great deal of apathy. If you're not careful, the apathy and anger could rub off on you – and ruin your calling to look up, live for Christ and do all you can to make 2018 a year of being salt and light in an increasingly dark and distasteful world. What can you do to be on guard, push back against America's new norm, and live an engaged, peace-filled life while so many seem to be burning up and looking the other way?
First, stop thinking that if we ignore our problems they will go away. If you think our current national woes are significant, they are nothing compared to what they will become if American Christians don't get more serious about Jesus Christ than ever before. God has not called you to disengage from culture, but to work diligently to try and transform it for his agenda and glory. Consider Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NIV):
"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people -- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people."
Salt and light are not noticeable unless they are introduced to needy situations. Think about this next time you struggle with your boss or co-worker. Maybe God has not simply allowed you to be where you are, but literally placed you in your situation so he reveal himself to the people who need him most. As the Bible commands, don't associate with Christians who are fakes, phonies and frauds. But stop missing the whole point of why God left you here until he returns: to positively impact the lives of people who are far from him. God calls you to engage culture and change it.