I love hearing Christians tell stories about people they have helped. It encourages me to hear about someone they have taught the Gospel to who is now a faithful Christian. It motivates me to hear about a missionary they have supported or a case where someone needed benevolent help and a Christian stepped up and provided it.
Personally, I do not ever try to listen to these stories as if my brothers or sisters are bragging. Rather, when we have a “win,” we like to talk about it. And that is great!
However, I sometimes hear something in these stories that truly concerns me.
[Disclaimer: I am just as guilty of what I’m getting ready to say as anyone else. That’s why I’m writing this post!]
That concern comes from this fact: often when these stories are told, it is as if the person was helped or taught just a matter of a few days or weeks ago. As the story unfolds, however, it might have been years or even decades since this brother or sister aided that person.
Even more tragical is this: sometimes, it is the last person that Christian really, sacrificially stepped up and helped!
As Christians, we get rejected or hurt so often that, when we finally have a “win,” it can be easy for us to rest on our laurels. After all, we have finally helped someone become a Christian, or we have had an opportunity to truly sacrifice to help someone in the name of Jesus. So, we can carry that victory with us for years (or more) and point back to it as our defining moment.
If we are not careful, though, we can treat that one event as just a checkmark we have made.
I’ve held a personal Bible study with someone. Check.
I’ve given a significant amount of money to someone. Check.
I’ve supported a missionary out of my own pocket. Check.
All those things are good, but Christianity is not about checking something off a list one time.
Christianity is a lifestyle!
In other words, I need to ask myself: am I continually and constantly seeking to teach people the saving message of Jesus, or am I just resting on the fact that I did it one time?
Am I looking for opportunities to give and help in sacrificial ways on an ongoing basis, or am I satisfied with the fact that I did it one time for “that guy” way back in the day?
Am I constantly praying for, and seeking to help as I am able, good works (such as missionaries, children’s homes, and Christian schools) or do I just remember that one time I did so and think that is enough?
Christianity is more than doing a good work. It is about constantly being the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” It is about consistently letting our light shine so that God gets the glory (Matthew 5:13–16). It is about doing good at every opportunity we might have (Galatians 6:10). It is about continually going and making disciples (Matthew 28:19–20).
In other words, Christianity is about being like Jesus, who did not do one good act then fold up His ministry and say, “Look at that one thing I did back then.” It is about following the example of the One who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
Be grateful and proud of your victories. Never forget them, for they give you motivation and joy.
But ask yourself daily: what have I done for Him lately…
…or even today?
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn
via The Faughn Family of Four http://ift.tt/2d81Yu9