Reverence or Relevance

Posted in Work by Benham Brothers | November 3rd, 2014


Relevance is simply a byproduct of reverence. Focusing on relevance makes us irreverent.

The first question we should ask ourselves should not be, “Am I relevant?” The question should be, “Am I reverent?” Why? Because relevance is a byproduct of reverence.

Relevance considers man first – “What do people think? What’s popular? What’s trending?” This isn’t a bad thing, but it should never lead our minds. Reverence, on the other hand, considers God first – “What does God think? What pleases Him? How should I act?” This is our proper leader.

Placing reverence first puts God in His rightful place as Lord of the heart & mind. And when a prevailing worldview enters the cultural scene and stands against God, the reverent person simply restates, reaffirms, and reapplies the scripture to the worldview. This isn’t bible thumping, as those in the media like to say, rather it’s simply standing on the immoveable Rock that is our only sure foundation for life.

Placing relevance first puts man at the center of authority in the heart & mind. Although one may truly love God from the heart, the fear of man is what motivates him/her. When a prevailing worldview hits the scene he/she simply tries to reconcile the scripture to the worldview. Thus, relegating the truth of the scripture down to a common denominator in order to make it more relevant. There’s no life in that, and it leads to irrelevance. Why? Because the world needs answers, and they aren’t getting them from the “relevant” crowd.

Think about America today. Reverence to God has all but been swept under the rug in our culture. Many Christians are so busy trying to make the Gospel more “relevant” that the church has become largely irreverent. The institutions of culture (gov’t, media, education, marketplace, etc.) find little value in Christian faith today. We aren’t giving them answers – we’re afraid of being “irrelevant.” But the tide is turning.

There is a remnant of believers in America that are willing to place reverence to God before relevance to man. And the cool thing is that these people are becoming very relevant in culture today! Why? Because they have the answers to societies problems – they have the truth that brings life and are willing to speak it without fear of being reviled, mocked, and ridiculed.

God never calls us to focus on the byproduct of our actions – or on trying to be relevant. He simply wants us to be reverent to Him, to speak His truth and apply it to all of life. When we do this we’ll find ourselves incredibly relevant in a culture that needs answers so desperately.

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at