Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The problem was that, like many leaders, I believed there was something seriously wrong with low-drive Christians. I tended to project my own passion and calling onto everyone else. Since I'd heard my call so clearly, I assumed anyone who didn't share the same vision and fervor must not be listening to what God had to say.Now, I could argue this guy's vocabulary choices for a long time - "low drive" - give me a break. But I cannot argue with his basic sentiment. It is a rather interesting piece to read because despite the fact this guy is considered a Christian leader - it is from such a completely worldly view, hence the vocabulary choices.
But then he brought two remarkable people into my life. They weren't remarkable for what they accomplished; they were remarkable for who they were.
Both were as godly in character as anyone I've ever met, but neither one had a leadership bone in them. When it came time to charge the hill, they opted to serve on the supply line. When I called on people to step out and do something daring, they smiled and politely demurred. And they weren't much for "spiritual disciplines" either. They couldn't point to a lot of kingdom accomplishments.
But when it came to obeying scripture their character, relationships, and integrity, they were two of the most Christlike people I'd ever met.
Frankly, I didn't know what to do with them. Their godliness messed with my head. It contradicted all my paradigms of spirituality. For the first time, I began to wonder if God could actually be pleased with simple folks who love him, love their family and friends, and then die without ever having done (or wanting to do) anything significant. To put it more bluntly, I began to wonder if there was room in the kingdom for mediocrity. Could someone be average and still please God?
I've come to the conclusion that the answer is yes — a resounding yes.
Now it's important to note that I am not talking about cold and lukewarm Christians who wave the banner of Christ but live as they please. I'm talking about wonderful people of integrity and obedience to God's Word who simply don't register much on the intensity or impact meter—and never will.
You see, I do not think there is anything mediocre about people of good character and integrity that love their family and friends. God does not measure excellence that way.
Indeed Christ came to bring God's Kingdom, but how did He choose to do so, by teaching truth that sets us free (John 8:32) - by making us fishers of men (Matt 4:19) - by giving us an abundant life (John 10:10) - and so the list could go. Christ, the ultimate expression of God's desire for us came not to change the world, but to change us.
One of the beautiful things about a religiously free nation is how well it fits in with God's plans. Think about this vision for a minute. If enough people come to Jesus and become the kind of people discussed here, then in a democratic nation such as ours, does it not seem reasonable that our nation will begin to conform to the outlines of the kingdom God envisions for the world?
God tried working through the scope of history. He created His very own nation, and under David and Solomon it was a wonderful thing - but even that did not change the world - only a man making men could do that.
There is nothing mediocre about good Christian people just changing their lives - that are exactly how God intends to change the world, which makes them excellent indeed.
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