Wow. The two articles below came across my inbox and I am glad I stopped to read them. There is profound objectivity in these writings that both convicted me and brought me peace.
On one hand I felt convicted. I use much of the jargon and think many of the things the authors wrote about. I also operate within a community at large that gives off the vibes that they feel the same way that I am thinking. I go to conferences and read books with this line of thought. I am inundated and I also do the inundating!
In the last month or so God has brought me to a place of conviction in my line of thinking about how my life of ministry should turn out. I was attaching black and white thoughts to how the bible says we should live out our lives according to Christ. When I read the article I cringed because I have said some of the sentences he listed. In full disclosure (please forgive me!) I even judged some around me living outside of my standard of ‘Radical Christianity.’
As the author states, why was I thinking that to live quietly, mind your own affairs, and work with your hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11) was only for losers? Why did/do I feel as if I am wasting my gifts if I “settle” into an ordinary job, get married early and start a family, or live in a small town or suburb? While I do believe the Lord has spoken a few intentional things about the ministry He has called me to, it is not a biblical standard everyone should live by. For example- ‘missionally’ live in an impoverished neighborhood in a city while actively defending those in the midst of social injustices while wearing Toms. Just kidding…I don’t like or own Toms:) Or, ‘When I get married I won’t have kids so that I can focus more on social issues and not have to raise a family.’ Seriously, wow! Who had I become. (Again, this is full disclosure)
Really, at the end of the day, the deeper call beyond the circumstances I live in is a commitment to love God with all I have as well as people. The paradigm shift has been that this can be done (by myself and others) in a variety of ways. Married, Single, CEO, Janitor, Dallas, Ohio…etc. etc. I have been trying to put myself in a box and I have feared things that would take me out of that box.
It’s been refreshing, but also difficult to readjust to a new paradigm while remaining faithful to the things He has called me to live out.
Do any of you identify with the articles below, or, anything I mentioned? How were you convicted? Do you think he is right on or far fetched?
Be encouraged, there is freedom in the lives we live for Christ. What do you think?
Here is the first article: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/the_new_legalism#.UccSYufWVMQ.facebook
Here is the second: http://www.qideas.org/blog/why-do-we-hate-the-suburbs.aspx