Who says?

9 Dec

Imagine a young man who decides he wants to take some time to focus on serving those in need.

After discussion with different leaders and godly people, he decides to quit his job and begin working every day on different ways to reach out to others with the gospel and also serving them in love. Over this time he begins trying to start a business which will help fund his service, ministers faithfully in his local church, develops the foundation for a long lasting non-profit organization that will exist to serve the church, begins a work that reaches out and helps people in crisis, and develops ways of giving different churches resources which will help them show the love of Christ to their communities, and that is just for starters.

He understands not everyone needs to do this, (and that definitely not everyone should do this), in fact he himself knows that he may not be able to do this for much longer, (who knows?) and that is totally fine, and on and on we could go. But imagine that he consistently sees the grace of God in providing for him over that year, (which shouldn’t be hard to imagine!) And he sees God so consistently provided that he is able to purchase a new car, move into a beautiful house in a safe location, have all the clothes he needs, give to others, and never once go without a meal.

Though he doesn’t making nearly as much money as he used to, he is surviving and truthfully, if we compared him to most of the people we visited in Malawi, he is thriving.

Now, if you are able to picture all that in your minds, here is the question: how do you think the church would respond to a person like that?

(Please remember I am not talking about a person who is being lazy but who is actively using his time and energy to seek first the kingdom of Christ in these specific ways.)

I will tell you how I think many would respond.

That they are not sure what he is doing is biblical because he is not making enough money and that his first ministry is to his wife and if he is not a pastor then he really isn’t involved in serious ministry and should work more at his money making venture for fifty, sixty hours a week and then use whatever spare time he has to do the other kinds of things he is doing.

Of course I am making their arguments sound as bad as possible and I am sure they would say them much better than that and that they would have very good intentions; but the thing that is funny to me is how bound we are to our cultural expectations of how life should work, so bound in fact, that anyone who steps outside of those cultural expectations, we are tempted to say they are unbiblical.

In a relativistic culture, most people still hold certain absolutes and those absolutes usually have to do with money.

A big house is better than a small house. An inside toilet is better than an outside toilet. Driving a car is better than walking. Wearing expensive clothes is better than wearing the same clothes you have worn for the past several years.

Who says?

Who says we have to have a certain lifestyle? Who says that our wives have to have certain kinds of clothes? Who says that our children have to go to certain kinds of schools? Who says that we have to drive certain kinds of cars? Who says that we have to have thousands of dollars that we are not going to use in the bank in order for us to be secure?

I believe in absolutes as well, I am just not as sure about those particular absolutes.

2 Responses to “Who says?”

  1. Tommie December 9, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I have been thinking along those lines for some time now.
    There are just so many questions, so many things intertwined.
    In the end I wonder; is all the questions not just the product of lack of faith or responsible thinking?
    When does responsibility get to be over ruled by faith?
    Does responsibility ever over rule faith?
    The biggest question is, to know without reasonable doubt what God’s will is for your life and then making life changing chooses based on that.
    The foundational question always comes down to “How do you know God’s will?”
    I used to be convinced the Blackaby’s had it cornered but, then I started reading De Young and got convinced otherwise.
    Now I’m just in limbo and some days think of my Blackaby days and wonder if I didn’t have more faith then

  2. Carol Schmersahl December 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    The part that isn’t Biblical is anyone judging anyone else. Once I start doing that, who cares what I think…

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