Are we called to be radical? I feel bad because my friends around me are seeking to go overseas and be missionaries or have homeless people live in their houses, or only live off of bread and water so they can give their money to the poor. I don’t feel called to do any of this but at times it feels like this is what it means to give up everything for God? I feel like I’m a bad Christian cuz I’m not radical enough. Should I make a huge change in my life to reach the lost for Jesus?
Things like forgiving your enemies, loving your neighbor as yourself, and caring for the least of these are things that are radical by worldly standards. There can hardly be a more radical statement than 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world.”
Doing those things is radical. What is not radical is talking about those things. There was a book a few years ago that swept through the Christian world about this very subject. I have nothing against that book. I’ve never read it to be perfectly honest. What I do know, because I witnessed it, is that a whole lot of church people where talking about being totally radical, and then went on to do…the exact same thing they had been doing.
I mention that because I don’t think you should feel bad that you aren’t planning to intentionally live in abject poverty in the name of being extreme. I don’t think your friends are planning on doing that either. I’m not saying that they are bad people or being fake. Part of thinking about the future when you are young is talking about out there stuff.
We are called to follow what Jesus calls us to do. If Jesus calls you to be a missionary overseas, great. If He calls you to work a job, provide for a family, and volunteer at church, that’s great too. Neither one is inherently more holy than the other.
Sometimes people get so into the idea of finding the most hardcore thing they can do for the Lord, that they stop listening to the Lord about it. That’s just as bad as not listening to the Lord in search of comfort. If someone just likes the idea of being the most radical Christian they know, it is no longer about Jesus. It has become about their ego, and serving your ego is definitely not a radical act.
Christianity is not a competitive activity. It is a personal relationship with God that comes with a personal calling. There is no such thing as doing it more hardcore than the next person. Hearing from the Lord and following His call despite your own ego is as radical as it gets.
-Matt from The Bridge
Repression is not strength. Strong people feel what they are feeling, and then they deal with it. That will look messy from the outside, and that’s okay.
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