At surface level, there’s not a lot that’s lovely or beautiful surrounding us as we begin 2021.
A global pandemic.
Well-documented racism and corruption.
Seditious actions and a political sphere in turmoil.
Division, anger, hostility.
What’s lovely about that?
It’s easy to succumb to the gloom and fury that are thrust upon us during this time by our friends and family, our digital landscape, and the media. But now more than ever is the time to resist succumbing to those things, and instead, to fight for the lovely.
A well-known passage of Scripture, Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine) outlines the things that should be sought out in this world:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
It makes sense that these things are not easily seen – we live in a fallen world that is broken beyond belief and corrupted by sin. If we want the lovely, the true, the pure, the just, it must be FOUGHT for.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) recently admonished, “Don’t let nihilists become your drug dealers.” His comment is spot on. This world wants to suck all the joy and meaning away from life, leaving nothing but brokenness. We must push back.
Fighting for the lovely looks like being kind to your neighbor, even when (especially when) you disagree.
Fighting for the lovely looks like a refusal to allow the agenda of the political class and the media to dictate your life, your joy, your priorities.
Fighting for the lovely looks like ordering your life according to what really matters – God and people.
And yes, fighting for the lovely expands to include the grim fight against the abuses of people that break God’s heart. Fighting for the lovely is the fight for justice, for dignity, against abuse and corruption. But loveliness brings happy warriors to these fights, not bringers of gloom and doom.
We are not called to just lay down and accept the darkness of the situation. We are called to be light. We are called to seek the lovely. That is exactly what we must do – now, more than ever.