Weekly Blog: Slaves of “They”
Feb 3, 2020 1189
Have you seen or read in science fiction about those future societies where human beings are slaves to a dark, faceless power? If you think about it, the world is actually in bondage today.
In your life every day, you will hear a million voices telling you, “They say… you should think like this, do this, love this, reject this.” We are all under the tyranny of “they.”
You see it in the groupthink of social media, in the cult of celebrity, in the cult of the politician, on television, on radio: even in the conversation of your friends. It’s everywhere, even seemingly in the air we breathe: the cult of “they.”
It tells you to think like “they,” to value things like “they” do, to act like “they” do: to adopt the worldview of “they.”
The society you see around you is the product of the voice of “they.” That’s what wrong with our world today.
“They” aren’t a new problem. It was a problem in the time of Christ also.
“They” Just Want To Control You!
Jesus asked his disciples,
Who do people [they] say the Son of Man is?(Matthew 16:13, NIV).
The people are the “they.” Jesus is effectively asking them, “What does the voice of ‘they’ say that you should think about me?”
The disciples tell Jesus what they are saying about who he is. And every one of the opinions of the voice of “they” are wrong.
Then Jesus challenges them to ignore what “they” say and to think for themselves. He says,
But what about you? … Who do you say I am?(v.15).
It’s only when they think for themselves and ignore what “they” say, that the disciples can actually come up with the right answer. And it’s profound!:
You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God(v.16).
The “tyranny of they” has no time for the idea that Jesus is actually the One sent from God to be the Saviour of the World. In fact, “they” tell their slaves that there is no real truth at all; just think and do and be whatever and however you like. But it is precisely this foundational reality about who Jesus is, that has opened up the door for millions of people to escape the slavery of “they” and to be able to see and to step into a whole new world.
Look at the advice that the apostle Paul gives us in Romans 12:2:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
See that “pattern of the world” that wants to make you into a cookie-cutter version of itself? That’s the “tyranny of they.” They want you to think, to believe, and to act as they do.
The Message paraphrases this verse this way,
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
In fact, the apostle Paul tells you how you can escape the “tyranny of they.” He continues in the same verse (v.2),
…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (NIV).
Remember Jesus’ question:
Who do you say I am?
Get the answer to that question right, and you will have broken free of the “tyranny of they”. You will have discovered ultimate truth and ultimate life.