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DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

“Disruptive technology” is all the rage these days. It’s an industry buzz word that I hear a lot. Apple made its reputation on shaking up the norms with disruptive technology and it remains a hallmark of the brand. 

Just in case you are not familiar with the term, I copied part of the explanation found here: 

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/disruptive-technology 

A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.  

Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term disruptive technology. In his 1997 best-selling book, "The Innovator's Dilemma," Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. 

The article gives the following examples of disruptive technologies:

  • The telephone
  • The personal computer (PC)
  • Windows operating systems
  • Email
  • Cell phones
  • Laptop computers
  • Smart phones
  • Cloud computing
  • Social media

Perhaps you think of being disruptive as a negative thing, but in this context, to create disruptive technology is to create a positive advancement so far above and beyond the established norm, that it changes things forever. 

I confess that we still own a set of Funk & Wagnall’s encyclopedias. But when I want to know something, typically, I pick up my phone and say “Hey Siri…”

God’s calling is like that. It should create disruptive thoughts, disruptive reasoning, and disruptive behavior – behavior, reasoning and a way of thinking that is so radical a change from our previous ways that it creates a completely new persona. What else would you call something that can take a Christian killer like Saul and create Paul the Apostle? 

Christianity as a whole should be a disruptive force in the world. It should turn the world upside down and create radical change. In the early New Testament times it was just like that. 

Acts17:6-8 [NIV] But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus." When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. {Emphasis mine throughout.}

In the King James Version it says: “These that have turned the world upside down…”

What were they teaching? Well, among other things: Matthew 5:44 which says "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Isn’t it a pretty radical belief to return love for hate? What kind of crazy command is that?  In the previous verse, Jesus points out that the traditional thinking was to love your neighbor and hate your enemies. 

Belief and faith require turning our own lives upside down and this returning of good for evil is just one of the commands that disrupt normal, human responses. Here are a few more I can name: putting faith in the unseen as if it were seen, forgiving those who hurt us, giving up my will to do His will. 

I’ve know people who left a good job to take a lesser paying one so that they could take the Sabbath and Holy Days off. I’ve known of others who quit jobs and left comfy lives to become missionaries among the world’s most poor and wretched and needy. 

Not everyone is asked to quit a job or become a missionary. But we are all called to be radically changed and to do our parts to disrupt the world around us by living a life that points to God and telling others of His plan of salvation and His great love for us. 

Can you imagine helping an atheist learn that God is real? Can you imagine lifting the burden of woman who had an abortion by the words, “God loves you and He forgives you”? Can you imagine having the wits about you, the guts and the true love for your enemies that it takes to model the behavior of Jesus and say, as Stephen did just before he died, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”? [Acts 7:59] 

The stoned him, folks. It was a painful death this innocent man endured, just because he had the gall to preach the Gospel. He disrupted their lives, their old way of thinking, their comfortable assurance that they were Abraham’s seed and, therefore guaranteed something not available to others. Just like Jesus before him, Stephen offered a disruptive religion.

The word translated “upside down” in Acts 17:6 is anastatóō, (an-as-tat-o'-o); to disturb (literally or figuratively):—trouble, turn upside down, make an uproar.

While self-help books offer incremental improvements to behavior, the “Good Book” asks to live something more radical and to also offer this same radical disruption to others. 

Honestly, I wonder sometimes if my life is making all the difference it could, if there is something more or something different I should do and I ask God to guide me. I want to offer this disruptive life to others. I want people to say, “She told me about a faith, a plan, a hope, a future, and a love that turned my world upside-down.” I want God’s path for me to be disruptive to the human nature in me – to radically change me. Maybe you do too. 

So, sisters, I challenge you (and me) to go out cause some trouble. Make some noise for Jesus. Turn someone’s world upside down. Be disruptive. It is what we are called to do. 

I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions.  You can write to me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.