Somebody on Twitter asked Brant, “What do you think are the three most counter-cultural characteristics a Christian can show or have?” So Brant came up with his own list, it’s certainly not definitive by any stretch, it’s just one guy’s opinion. If you’ve shocked anyone with these 3 counter-cultural characteristics please share in the comments below. 😀
This blog post was inspired by The Brant Hansen Show, aired on STAR 93.3.
The first thing I put on my list was contentment. If we’re actually content, that will freak people out! They might not understand it and may even be threatened by it.
You may be thinking, wait a second…aren’t we supposed to be playing this game where we’re scratching and clawing to get ahead of everybody else, to be seen, to be heard? To achieve that thing we’re trying to achieve? But, we’re really not sure what the end goal is. The more we get from whatever it is we’re looking for, the less it pays off. Weird?
When we’re kids we want something simple, we get it, we’re thrilled. When we get older and we get, let’s say a submarine, like in the Neiman Marcus Catalog for Christmas. I wonder how long we’re like, WOOHOO I GOT A SUBMARINE!…like an hour. It pays off less and less and I think contentment is one of those things that would be shocking to people.
Secondly, humility. Actually BEING humble, NOT ACTING humble. Not putting ourselves down, not that kind of understanding of humble, but being others-centered. It’s not all about me.
A while back we were talking about this guy I heard on sports radio in LA. He was like…every guru, every self-help person out here in L.A, it’s always about you. That’s how they make their money. They appeal to people’s egos. So it’s about you, you, you, you’re the center of the universe you are the universe, you are god…That lie goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and the biblical narrative. It’s the same lie every time. It is about, how it’s really all about…you. But humility is being others-centered. It’s not about putting yourself down, and that is so refreshing. It is shocking.
Reject Anger & Forgive
The third one and I know this is controversial, but it’s kind of the point counter-cultural. It is the rejection of our own right to anger in favor of forgiveness. That is shocking! I grew up thinking that I have this righteous anger that’s in me, and I’m the one who determines whether it’s righteous or not. And here’s Jesus, who doesn’t allow that for us. He tells us we have to forgive other people because of God’s forgiveness for us. Shocking, right?
A lot of people, at first, are totally resistant to this idea. But you can’t simultaneously forgive, and say I’m retaining my right to anger against you. You have to let it go. It’s not because you’re right, it’s because God’s forgiven you. The Bible says that anger resides in the lap of fools. If you live that way, you won’t be completely unique. If you’re a believer, it’s not about me being offended. That is a completely counter-cultural idea. Everybody else pats themselves on the back with self-righteous anger. But we have to operate in forgiveness because of what God’s done for us.
My wife nails the humble part! It amazes me how others-centered she really is, and people do notice.
My husband is really others centered, too. He is humble and generous, and without guile.
Well said. I totally related to all three of these characteristics. I’ve often found myself not meeting the church’s definition of “Christian”, reading this confirms for me that I am living a life to make God proud. I embody these characteristics, never perfectly as I’m a broken human, but often without even realizing it or recognizing it. Thank you for these words!