Wow. I was totally blown away. I was raised in a background that put a huge focus on the social message of the gospels - caring for others and the idea of "being God's hands" on the earth. Lately, I have been feeling like I am a bit too comfortable - while we aren't rich by any stretch and many of those around us have more than we do, compared to those elsewhere and many in our environment, we are completely and totally spoilt. We have become complacent and totally wrapped up in the material world around us. Yes, it is more focused on our children than on ourselves but that doesn't make it right.
One thing that Francis Chan said that really hit me was when he used the analogy of playing a game of "follow the leader", in which the idea is to be like the person who is the leader. He said that we need to be like that with Jesus - instead of memorizing what he had to say and not acting on it, we need to BE like Jesus and do the things that he did. Can I honestly say that I step out at all to reach out to people who are not convenient to help? Do I allow myself to be made uncomfortable? If I am honest, no, I don't. I might pass things on to people around me and make the odd donation to charities but do I make any significant sacrifices to reach out to others? When I stand in front of God and have to account for my life, will I be able to honestly say that I lived out my faith? As Francis Chan said, when you tell your teenage child to clean his room, do you want him to come to you and tell you that he memorized what you said and can even repeat it in the original ancient Greek or do you want him to clean the room?
I am not saying that I am going to change everything and honestly, I am not sure where to start but I do feel like this message really hit me and was something that I needed to hear. Wouldn't Christianity be in a much better place in the world if we all seriously tried to be like Jesus, instead of just being able to quote what he said?
I am going to reflect on this and try and look for ways to help. I remember reading a blog, I can't remember where, in which the author suggested trying to find an act of kindness to do each day, however small. That might be a good place for me to start. I would love to read any suggestions you might have.