Paul tells us in Titus 2:14 that Jesus Christ gave Himself up for us that He might purchase for Himself a people who are zealous for good works.
You could translate the word, “one who is deeply committed to something…” It looks like a synonym is an “enthusiast.” Another Greek dictionary defines it as one who is stirred to action by strong emotion.
Something is drastically wrong when Christians are not emotionally charged about doing good works. Jesus died on a cross that we might be emotionally charged about doing good works.
I’ve found you know that often when I talk about our desire to work with orphans people aren’t always that excited about it. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem to phase them that are literally millions of orphans in the world.
I’ve often thought about why. I struggle with why to be honest.
Some could do with me, maybe I am just not describing it well.
Another could be the fact that people are passionate about different things. I get that. And really I am almost o.k. with not everybody being as excited about helping orphans as I am, I am just not o.k. with them not being excited about sacrificially doing good, at all. Have something that God says is important that you are passionate about. Emotional about. It’s not that we all have the same gifts, the same exact callings, the same opportunities, God’s wired us differently for a reason, but we all need to be passionate, emotionally charged about doing some sort of good in this world. Apathy is not an option when God specifically says that He sent His Son to die that we might be zealous.
Maybe another reason that we are often affected by the needs in the world is that we are selfish. I guess I probably should wipe out the word maybe. I’m totally this way when I am sick. If my wife is sick, I sometimes have had a hard time empathizing. But when I am sick, man, I know it is awful. That’s not right and I have to recognize that part of the reason I can be like that is because I am too focused on me.
Another reason may be a lack of imagination. This goes along with being selfish, but I wonder if people when they hear some of the needs going on in the world don’t ever stop and imagine what it would be like to be in that position. I wonder if maybe one of the links between just knowing there are needs in the world and actually being emotionally affected and zealous about meeting those needs is imagination, slowing down and considering those needs more carefully.
Get emotional man. Get charged up about doing good.
1. Stop and think about how passionate Jesus was about doing you good. It wasn’t a take it or leave it matter for him.
2. Consider the mercy that God has shown you. Ask yourself, why is it is so amazing that Jesus died for me? Why was it so difficult? What sacrifices did he have to make? Refuse to leave your consideration of the cross and the love of God until your heart is burning within you.
3. Recognize that Jesus said when you give a cup of cold water to someone in his name you are doing it to him. Start looking at people as opportunities to show how much you love Jesus by serving them. Say to God before you go to serve, this is for you Jesus.
4. Think about where you would be if Jesus hadn’t stepped up to do good to you.
5. Compare the rewards that God promises those who serve Him by serving the needy in faith with the rewards of seeking your own gain. It’s so crazy. God has not only made it so that we’ll blessed in the future by passionately serving others, He’s made it so that we are blessed in the now with joy and peace and gladness. Why is it that the happiest people on the planet are the least selfish and most giving and that when you meet a miserable person you always find that he is focused on himself?
6. Meditate on the emptiness of merely saying you love God or saying you love other people without being passionate. What kind of love is devoid of emotion?
7. Go out of your comfort zone. Go hang out with the poor somewhere. Go ask questions of someone who has been in a difficult situation. Ask them what they felt, what was it like, what they were afraid. Be interested in other people. Imagine yourself in their shoes.
PLEASE, these are just ideas off the top of my head, I don’t even know how good they are but pray, do something, cry out to God that He would not let you be a cold hard stone when it comes to doing good, but that you would see the fruit of the Spirit in your life, ZEAL.
2 thoughts on “Get Emotional…”
I have been very encouraged and motivated by reading what you wrote about getting out of our comfort zone and serving those in desperate need. Sometimes I feel quite hesitant about our move to Malawi. But it’s not about me, it’s about serving Christ and doing so by serving others. God bless you, Josh and Marda, as you take on this work for the kingdom. We are very excited for your family .
“Go out of your comfort zone. Go hang out with the poor somewhere…”
In my humble opinion, one of the greatest benefits of short term missions to a third world country is being jolted from the numbness to suffering that marks our American middle-class experience.
I have heard more than one parent comment on the changes they’ve seen in their teen’s perspective on life after returning from such a trip and seeing firsthand the poverty and need that exists/persists in so many places.
I’m not advocating that we ignore our next door neighbors, either. Their spiritual poverty causes just as much heartache and is probably even more dangerous because of it’s subtlety (see Christ’s words on the “deceitfulness of riches”.
But for dealing with our own laziness and lack of zeal for the souls of men, there are few antidotes as effective as being smacked in the face with tangible pictures of the truth that “for your sakes he became poor, that you might be made rich” and “to whom much is given, much will be required”
The Pharisees condemned in the parable of the Good Samaritan were not the cause of his wounds. Their merely passing by a plainly visible need revealed
their lack of compassion (read: guilt).