Engagement Over Apathy

This is my first blog post for the Faithfully Engaged website. Here are some examples of other posts I have written for Truth & Grace Counseling, Wrong Speak, and The Federalist. I want to make more blog posts on this site. Many of them will be derived from podcast episodes on Faithfully Engaged. To check out the full video episodes, click the link below.

The Truth & Grace Counseling Podcast

Some of you reading this post know about my previous podcast named “The Truth & Grace Counseling Podcast.” This podcast was meant to reflect my counseling practice by the same name. I had never made a podcast before and honestly had no idea what I was doing. However, it became an enjoyable product. I realized my podcast became an outlet for my creativity. I could meet new people and form connections I never would have had without the show.

The more I created for the podcast, the more I realized the show was evolving into something more than a reflection of my counseling practice. It started to form its own identity. That, coupled with trying to protect my counseling license from the horrors of the internet, led me to make Faithfully Engaged. I will always be grateful for the short project of The Truth & Grace Counseling podcast. I learned a ton about podcasting and about myself through this time.

Faithfully Engaged

The name for “The Truth & Grace Counseling Podcast” was straightforward. No planning or creativity went into this decision at all. So, where did I come up with the name “Faithfully Engaged.” Some of that goes back to the former podcast, but more so Truth & Grace Counseling. This blog post was the last of a 3 part series in my counseling practice’s purpose statement. Here is the purpose statement in its entirety.

“To provide clarity from a biblically informed perspective to help individuals engage life faithfully.”

You will see pretty clearly at the end of that statement the inspiration for the podcast name, “Engage life faithfully.” The blog post mentioned above goes into more detail about why I chose those words. This post and purpose statement were written in the context of a counseling practice. For the podcast, I am broadening out further than counseling. I want listeners to my podcast to be encouraged to be engaged in their lives.

My Values and Beliefs

I am open about my values. I am a Christian. That is where the “Faithfully” piece of the name comes into play. I believe that God created this world, sent his only Son to die for our sins, that He resurrected and defeated sin, and that He will return someday. The content that I post has this assumption in mind. I don’t mind healthy debate. I think it can be pretty helpful. There is a whole field of apologetics about debating the existence of the God of the bible. However, that’s not the purpose of this podcast. This podcast is geared towards those who are already Christian or at least don’t mind hearing from someone openly Christian.

Something else that I’m open about is my conservative values. I am more traditional because I am a Christian. This ordering is essential. Being conservative is not nearly as important to me as being a Christian. My values stem downward from my Christian Beliefs. I believe overall, conservatives have a more accurate view of mankind. Progressives view man as inherently good and can be steered in different directions. Conservatives overall tend to view humanity as inherently evil and need to have appropriate boundaries and structures in life.

These are comprehensive statements and are not meant to be the exact beliefs of every liberal and conservative. However, Scripture is obvious on sin impacting all of humanity. Myself included! That’s not to say that all creation is evil. No, we are made in God’s image. We are capable of creating incredible things. But our hearts are marred by sin. This is what makes salvation available for sinners so unbelievable!

Fight for Truth

Truth matters. In today’s world, there are a lot of “my truth” or “all truth is relative” beliefs. This is simply untrue. There is only one truth. Now, I believe people may have different pieces of the truth. For instance, let’s imagine a car driving down the road has one side painted red and the other painted blue. You and I are on opposite sides of the road. You might say, “I saw a red car,” and I might say, “I saw a blue car.” We both have parts of the truth in those statements. Someone who believes facts are relative would say those are both factual statements. But that’s inaccurate. What’s correct is that it is a car with red on one side and blue on the other side. We both only saw one side of that car and thus had an incomplete picture.

We need to seek out truth in all its forms. This can be spiritual truth, as in

“I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6

While I stand by that statement of scripture, we don’t have to consistently over-spiritualize things. However, we do need to recognize truth in all its forms.

2+2=4. This is not some incredible discovery. Most reading this have known this for a very long time. However, many intelligent people try to find ways around this. Check out this article from Harvard about why 2+2 can equal 5.

The biggest take recently is the fight over gender. We all instinctively know the difference between boys and girls. But there is a push to blur the lines between the two. No, fighting for truth there is extremely important. I want this podcast to focus on actual things.

Other Conservative Content

I realize I said that I view human nature as being inherently evil. I believe we are all in need of a Savior. However, I don’t enjoy being all doom and gloom about everything. Quite the opposite! The gospel is the “good news” that despite our sinful nature, salvation is available to all who call upon the name of Jesus. This is excellent news! Something to be very optimistic about.

I realize not all conservative content creators are Christian. Some are explicit in claiming that they are not. However, much of traditional values are arrived from some form of biblical wisdom. This is part of why I am critical of much conservative content. Ask yourself this for a second: “How do I feel after watching conservative news/videos?”

Feelings are not everything. Your feelings can be wrong. However, I guess your answer is probably something like “I feel angry” or “I feel scared.” Mind you, these are not bad things to feel. Things are going on in our culture that should make you feel mad and scared. Drag queen story hour at your local library should not make you feel cheery and happy!

But aside from feeling angry and scared, many others may feel apathetic. Apathy is not a helpful thing to feel. It resorts us to be powerless observers. We are simply watching the world burn around us, and we can do nothing otherwise.

I don’t think this is true! There is a time and a place for accurate reporting of evils. I am not saying all conservative media that point out these facts are wrong. No, they have a place. But we cannot sit around in apathy. You have a role to play with people around you. Whether that be your spouse, kids, parents, neighbors, etc., we only have one life to live, so let’s not sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and the world around us.

Stay Engaged

That is why my content is centered around action. I refrain from discussing current events with my guests on my podcast. Some recent events will pop up here and there, but these are ever-changing. You cannot keep up with everything happening in the world.

Instead, I focus on speaking with guests and doing something with their lives. They are tackling a particular project. They are helping people dealing with specific problems. They are learning ways to deal with the personal grief that they are experiencing. They are helping give my audience practical tips for handling issues in their lives.

We are made to live! In the grand scheme, we are only around for a very short time. A human that lives for 100 years lived a long time. However, in the course of human history, that is nothing. Please don’t waste the gift of life we have all been given.

Keep yourself informed about what is going on around you. But if you have had enough of the news, could you turn it off today? You can turn it back on tomorrow to learn more, but make the news work for you rather than the other way around.

My Hope

I hope that this podcast encourages you towards action. Please don’t listen to the stories of others and elevate them to a high place. They are flawed humans like you. Create your own story and engage life faithfully with those God put in your life. If you have an incredible story of how you are faithfully engaged, let me know! Please get in touch with me so we can see if you’re a good fit to have on the show!