“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
—Source: God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis
This quote by C.S. Lewis is sneaking up on being 100 years old – but the truth of these words are becoming ever more increasingly apparent every day, wouldn’t you agree? The thought police and behavior patrols are out on the loose, as the forces that are attempting to create some form of perfect society.
But Lewis is spot on – and the exchange of our freedoms for safety and comfort are in essence a form of voluntary slavery under a very cruel taskmaster.
And I know of one person who has a very clear vision for where this all might be going going. Her name is Lois Lowry, and her novel The Giver has hit the big screen with some heavyweight talent. If you watch the film, there may be some elements where you have to suspend your disbelief, but on the whole, I think much will resonate with your internal worries about our own “utopia” aspirations.
I guess there are two ways you can react to the prophetic insight that The Giver, well, gives to us regarding the push towards “sameness” and an emotionless culture where freewill has been sterilized and sent to The Elsewhere. We can abdicate or subjugate or even resonate, but in the end, a society like that will simply drive us – like Jonas – to become an insubordinate.
The other and better option, in my opinion, is to walk away from The Giver with a renewed sense of your calling to THE Cause of Christ. Isn’t Jesus Christ the original Giver? He awakened our memories with a vision of the Cross – where He shed His blood to redeem us from a colorless existence. He rose from the dead so we could have the freedom to truly live in an unsafe, unpredictable, yet sovereignly directed world where heaven and hell hang in the balance for every soul!
See if this passage doesn’t stir something in your heart:
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, The Message).
To me, this sounds like we have now been enabled to carry on the mission of Jesus and be “givers,” as well. We have the spiritual power through the Holy Spirit to communicate the gospel and invite others into a real community. We can, through our love and compassion, stir up an awareness of the God-shaped hole in every soul that cannot be filled by anything in this fallen world.
Jonas ends up leaving his community for a new one, but not because he simply wants to escape. Rather, he desires liberation for his friends and family from those who would seek to engineer and control everyone’s destiny. How about you? Is church and youth group simply a way for you to get away from this “massively corrupt culture”? Or can you now see yourself as “The Giver,” who has the opportunity every day to touch the lives of those around you with the beauty and truth of doing life with God?
Those you love are being tormented by both the “omnipotent busy bodies” in the physical world, and a “robber baron” named Satan in the spiritual world. Don’t throw up your hands in resignation or lie down and submit to what’s happening around you. Be a change agent for THE Cause…be a mouthpiece for the gospel…and be a Giver of the greatest gift the world has ever (or will ever) know!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Being a Giver is a high calling and a high privilege, so don’t waste the opportunities God gives you each and every day to awaken people to the love of God and the freedom that comes with being in a community of believers!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, we thank You for being the ultimate Giver. You gave Your life so we could truly live, so please help us pass the gift along to our friends and family who are trapped by the world.
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:18. And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
Get: Life in 6 Words Outreach Book. What better way to be a “giver” than to give your friends a copy of the Life in 6 Words outreach book. Youth leaders, get your 100 FREE copies of this book for your students to give away to those who need to get to know Jesus personally at share6campaign.com.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: The Giver can be used as a metaphor for the calling and privilege we have as followers of Jesus to be a Giver for THE Cause of Christ.
Key Scripture:2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- Could America ever become like The Giver? Why or why not?
- In what ways is Jesus like The Giver?
- How can we be “givers” in our circumstances?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?