Safe is a word used much in our society today. Safe spaces, safe cities, safe sex, emotionally safe, safe homes, safe neighborhoods, safe streets, safe, safe, safe.
Even before the dawn of our COVID age, we seem to have become a society obsessed with physical and emotional safety. As professor Jonathan Haidt remarked, “In America, if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned” It’s safe to say that the same can be said for us north of the border.
On top of that, this recent season has put the obsession with safety into overdrive. For the last several months we’ve heard drummed into our ears ‘stay safe’ – ‘be safe’ through a 24 hours news cycle, social media and family and friends.
Now, no sane person should have a problem with taking reasonable efforts to make the world a safer place, but the key phrase is reasonable efforts.
Life cannot be fully lived without risks – lots of them!
On top of that, life is full of unavoidable discomforts, even in advanced societies. Yet, the obsession with safety shows us that we live in a society unaccustomed, even unable to deal with discomfort, and suffering. The reality of suffering and death, which are common to human existence, are stuffed under the rug of a godless society which is utterly hopeless in the face of death.
How did we even get here? While books can be written, and they have been written (check out The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt), I want to spend sometime today discussing how we think of safety (staying safe) through a biblical lens, and then how we navigate a bubble wrapped society in a way that brings glory to Jesus and hope to those afraid of risk.