My first week of 2017 was spent in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at Passion 2017. I’ve been to Passion before (this was my fourth time), and I am very thankful for the conference. I’m sure most of the people who have attended over the last 20 years would say the same.
As I got home and began reflecting on the event, I had a few thoughts. I thought about how cool it is that I was able to start my year worshipping with 55,000 others. I thought about how thankful I am for Louie Giglio, John Piper, Francis Chan, and the rest of the speakers. God has greatly used their messages at the conference over the years in my life. I thought about how much God has worked in my life since I went to my first Passion Conference as a 19-year-old (I am 24 now). I cannot adequately explain how thankful I am for Passion.
This year something remarkable happened. The quote from a speaker that has stuck with me the most is one I didn’t even think much about during the conference. The quote is one that I heard, but it never really registered with me in the moment. It was not until I saw it pop up on Twitter and read it (over and over and over) that I realized how powerful, and timely, it was. The quote came from a challenge given by Beth Moore. In the challenge, Beth said this:
You will watch a generation of Christians – of Christians – set the Bible aside in an attempt to become more like Jesus. And stunningly it will sound completely plausible. This will be perhaps the cleverest of all the devil’s schemes in your generation. Sacrifice truth for love’s sake. And you will rise or fall based upon whether you will sacrifice one for the other. Will you have the courage to live in the tension of both truth and love?
This was the challenge I needed heading into 2017 (and for the rest of my life). We live in a world that pits truth and love against each other. We live in a world that encourages us to sacrifice truth for the sake of love. Of all the things said at Passion 2017, this is what I, and I believe everyone else in attendance, needed to hear most. To hear this announced to so many 18-25 year olds was very heartening to me.
We all must decide whether we will have the courage that Beth spoke of. As everyone at the conference left the Georgia Dome and headed back home, they headed back into a world that demands that they, “sacrifice truth for love’s sake.” Please join me in praying that these 55,000 college students and their leaders will have the courage to live in the tension of both truth and love.