It’s such a conundrum being a Jesus-follower. I want to live my faith, I want to trust God’s will, I want to follow His word but everyday my humanity paralyzes me from doing so. I think, what if He gives me what I pray for, what if I ask Him for an opportunity to live out my faith and He presents it and I fail! God is gracious…I know that, but graciousness has to have limits and when I ask for something and He gives it and then I ignore it how could He possibly continue to extend grace. Maybe this makes sense to you, maybe it doesn’t but as I continue to read the bible in combination with “Irresistable Revolution” I find myself hesitating to pray for an opportunity to live the life of such amazing sacrifice because I know it has many more implications for the long-run than just feeling good because I gave something to someone in need.
Today I read 2 Corinthians 9. I didn’t actually check if it was in my scheduled reading but I figured I’d just go with whatever chapter was next after my last reading (it actually was purely laziness in not wanting to trek up the stairs to get my daily reading pamphlet). What was more funny though was that in my laziness God spoke to me…”12. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 13. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what they need. Then there will be equality.” Powerful hey??? Paul was extolling the Corinthian church for their generosity despite their poverty. Honoring their sacrifice for the love of God and each other. What if we did that. What if just our one lowly town decided that for even a week we could sacrifice a portion of the immense wealth we have to assure that every homeless, starving person on our streets could eat, dress, sleep properly. Could you imagine the effect that would have? It’s crazy cool to imagine but a whole other thing to live out right?
Here are a few more challenges I saw over the week from Claiborne’s book:
“I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.” (p. 113)
“Many spiritual seekers have not been able to hear the words of Christians because the lives of Christians have been making so much horrible noise. It can be hard to hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit amid the noise of Christendom.” (p.127)
“I heard one gospel preacher say it like this, as he really wound up and broke a sweat: ‘We’ve got the unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he’s coming back for a bride, not a harem.'” (p. 145)
For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practise it.” (p. 150)
“I’m convinced that God did not mess up and make too many people and not enough stuff. Poverty was not created by God but by you and me, because we have not learned to love our neighbors as ourselves.” (p. 169-170)
So much truth in each little nugget of a statement. Do you see why I can feel the push to trust God and take the gigantic leap of actually living out this biblical truth of loving my neighbor as myself but at the same time feel my heart’s thunderous beat in anxiety over what might come of that? I know God is great, I know He is merciful, I know He will supply for me even as He takes care of the birds of the air and lilies of the field. But then I hear the booming voice of my greatest enemy, my own doubt, telling me…”but what if He isn’t and doesn’t”.