The last part of this advocacy series is about advocating for a cause. Advocating for an individual and advocating for an organization, also in a way represent a cause. However, what I mean is to pick an issue and advocate against (or for) primarily that, meaning that one cares more about the cause at large than one individual in the cause or one organization’s fight against it. To help me illustrate the difference, pro-life activists are not advocating for one person, but for all unborn babies and will-be unborn babies. Nor do they align themselves strongly with an organization. They may be aligned with one, but primarily for the cause, not the organization.
The “cause” that I advocate for, I would say, is stopping human trafficking. You can advocate for whatever you choose, and do so in whatever creative way. There are some important guidelines to use as a self-examination tool when being an advocate, as it is easy to let the cause become an end in itself. It helps me to ask myself these questions on a regular basis in order to make sure I am advocating in a way that honors the “victims” of the issue, and also leads to real action. I will use human trafficking in these questions, since this is what I want to ask myself. However, you can fill in the blank with whatever your cause is.
1. If my friends that have survived human trafficking heard me right now, would they feel betrayed and exposed, or uplifted and honored?
2. Am I advocating for this right now to glorify myself, or to show his love to other people and glorified through my portrayal of his desire for justice?
3. Will what I am saying, doing, writing, etc. either help stop human trafficking and/ or encourage other people to take action to stop human trafficking?
I think the right answer should be obvious in these questions. However, when examining yourself, be sure to search your heart and your actions for the honest answer. I’ll be honest with you right now, that this is a very difficult thing for me to do. Pride rears its ugly head in my life far too often when I think about this stuff. That being said, your advocacy for a cause can and will make a real difference. So, take a leap. Making a mistake every once and a while is totally okay. The important thing is that you learn from them, and think about the concepts mentioned in these guidelines to make thoughtful choices with your advocacy.
Let me know what you think!
For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
-1 Peter 4:24-25