Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This article really hit me. I've been hearing this message a lot lately, and it has me thinking. What radical thing am I doing for Christ? The author states:

The American Dream has permeated this nation, but it has also spilled across the oceans to all nations of the world. Everyone understands the American Dream, and he pursues it with all his might. While we are familiar with seeing images of desperate Cubans endeavoring to land makeshift rafts on the beaches of Florida in their pursuit of this dream, many Americans are no different. They just look better in the pursuit. But under the cover of well-clothed, well-educated, well-cared-for Americans is a relentless pursuit of the same idea—a better, richer, fuller life than what I am currently experiencing. The pursuit leaves every player exasperated for one simple reason—it’s not the way God intended us to live.
God gives us strong admonitions to live for another world, another country. Our mode of operation is to be that of a pilgrim, not a consumer. When pagans compare our lives to theirs, we should look like idiots in their eyes. But I’m afraid most of the time we look pretty normal. We should have different economic strategies (kingdom giving), different time schedules (acts of mercy; times of personal, family, and corporate worship), different family priorities (parenting God’s way, time together), and different pursuits (kingdom of God, glory of God, people of God). However, I’m afraid that when the lives of most Christians are examined, they make complete sense to the average pagan. Materially, we have houses, cars, retirement plans, and five kinds of insurance so that we can have “risk-free” living. When it comes to our time, we spend more time having fun than serving the poor. We spend more time playing with our toys than meeting as believers, provoking one another to love and good works. I’m afraid that our diversions have become our delight in America. When it comes to what we live for, I’m afraid we display Babylonian desires for the latest and greatest . . . just like the pagans.

I know that my mind is more often occupied with how to make life more comfortable for my family, and specifically, me. I know that I spend a lot of time dreaming about what we want to do someday, and it usually involves a house on a lake more than a shack in Africa.

I'm not sure what to do with all these thoughts, though. I realize there are going to be earthly pursuits that don't, on the surface, look like kingdom pursuits. But I also realize that my heart is what matters, and sometimes those earthly pursuits give a window of opportunity to bring about kingdom goals. That time we hired someone to drywall our basement? It led to some great conversations about church and living for Christ, and has established a relationship with a guy that still exists today.

Not everyone will give up their job like the author did, but we all must be willing. So my question becomes, how do you live a radical life for Christ, while still working a 9 to5, having a family and having responsibilities elsewhere?

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think it does start in your heart and what you value and who you serve. If we are serving God in the ministry of our local church, I believe that is God's plan for our lives. We need to start serving God where we are and grow from there.

girlie girl said...

I stuggle with the same thing all the time!!! It's os easy to get caught up in "keeping up". I don't know the answer, but if you discover it, let me know.