I often joke with my wife that we should leave everything behind, go create a monastery and make chocolate and beer for the rest of our lives. And as it is with most jokes, there’s some truth behind it. There certainly are days where I want to just disengage from this crazy world and sequester myself from all the nonsense that is happening out there.
I’m pretty sure you can relate. I get so tired of all the ugliness in which the rest of the world seems to revel. America has turned into one giant Jerry Springer show!
But, alas, as much as Lisa and I would love to check out, buy a piece of property in the middle-of-no-where and raise a pack of puppies, Jesus calls us to stay engaged with the world no matter how hard or unappealing it is.
All Christians know Jesus’ “Great Commission” is to GO. Jesus calls us to go into the world and do all we can to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. Tangibly what that means is we are to engage the unbelieving world by showing them how Jesus has changed our lives through the way we act, think, talk, and live day by day. We are to share the Good News – the Gospel of Jesus Christ – with unbelievers, offering them the same hope of eternal life with Jesus that we’ve accepted for ourselves. We are to use our gifts in a way that serve other people.
And to be honest, it can be very discouraging work, which makes it very difficult to want to stay engaged. I mean honestly, who really wants to roll up their sleeves and deal with hateful, divisive, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, over-sexualized, prideful, foolish, undisciplined, unaccountable, lying, greedy, and mean-spirited people who are moral relativist rejecting God’s absolute law and authority replacing it with their own flawed and mostly heretical beliefs? It’s exhausting and not particularly fruitful.
It is so easy to simply say, “pearls before swine” and stop sharing the Gospel with people because you’ve decided on your own that it’s a waste of time and not something you particularly want to do because all it will get you is rejected and derision.
That thought has crossed my mind and my lips several times. Then the Holy Spirit pulls out the “Holy Two-by-Four” and whacks me upside the head!
Our current environment is EXACTLY the kind of harvest field Jesus had in mind when He commissioned us to go out into the world. Believe me, 1st Century Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the rest of the world was MUCH worse than what we experience in America today and Jesus sent his disciple out into that wilderness. How much more would He expect us to engage our world?
Every day I have to remember that Hell is a real place that I would not want anyone to experience, and Jesus is a real person who I want everyone to experience. If I don’t share that with people, who will? How can people meet Jesus if I don’t introduce Him to them?
Yes, it’s difficult. And yes, it can be quite unpleasant at times given people’s reaction. However, there is no more important work on this earth than sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people whether they accept it or not.
So, Lisa and I won’t be starting that monastery as attractive as that sounds. Instead, we’ll stay engaged with this crazy world of ours, doing our best to share Jesus everywhere we go with everyone we meet, loving the EGRs (Extra Grace Required people) and praying for our crazy, mixed up fallen world.