Why We Should Stand Up Even When Success Seems Unlikely
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Politics and Activism

Why We Should Stand Up Even When Success Seems Unlikely

We are called to be lights in this world, not to blend in simply because we don't think our light will be bright enough to be effective.

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Why We Should Stand Up Even When Success Seems Unlikely
Emily Wilkinson

At the end of last Monday's Convocation, Liberty students were asked by our fellow student to sign a petition asking for the release of his father from prison in China. As he read his petition aloud to us, we realized the weight of the issue-- how his father had been wrongly imprisoned, without a fair trial, for being a human rights lawyer working in China. This imprisonment would take away at least a decade of this man's life-- and keep him apart from his family. The student felt that, at this point, the only way he could let his voice be heard was to petition the Chinese Embassy directly for his father's release.

After Convocation, thousands of students stood in lines across the Vines Center, waiting to sign the petition with a tiny flame burning in their hearts, the pressing need to do something, anything to help.

As I went through the rest of my day after signing the petition, I overheard snippets of conversations that made my idealist heart ache a bit.

"What are the chances this will actually work?" "I don't know... It's unlikely."

"I don't think it'll do anything... It probably won't even make it that high up."

Yes, these are thoughts that flitted through each of our minds as we waited in line to sign this petition.

But even so...

Even if the petition doesn't get enough signatures to have an impact...

Even if the petition never makes it up to the level of government that this student is aiming to reach...

Even if the petition does absolutely nothing to help his father...

...is that reason enough not to try at all?

Since when are unlikely results enough to make us shrug our shoulders and give up? Since when is being realistic or skeptic a good enough reason to stand back and not do anything at all? Since when are we supposed to ignore the problem entirely when the chances of success seem slim?

That is not social justice. And that is not who we are called to be as Christians.

Proverbs 31:8-9 says to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

It doesn't say "Speak up when it's convenient for you."

It doesn't say "Speak up only if you're confident in success."

No, we are called to speak up because we care about people-- because if we don't, then who will? If everyone had the attitude of "this will never work," then nothing would ever get done. There would be no inventions-- no United States of America-- no civil rights or social justice movements.

We are called to be lights in this world, not to blend in simply because we don't think our light will be bright enough to be effective.

If you've got a fire burning in your heart to do something, to say something in the face of injustice and brokenness-- listen to it. It may be the Holy Spirit calling you to action. We need more people who are willing to take a stand for what's right, even when it involves taking a flying leap out of their comfort zones.

Because who knows? The thing you thought was impossible could end up making a huge difference in so many people's lives. Let's go out and let the Light that is within us shine even (especially) in the face of opposition and uncertainty and darkness.


To quote the Doctor (Doctor Who): "I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes. The dreamer of improbable dreams."


May we stand up for what's right with the same optimism, hope, and faith in God's ability to do abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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