A missionary was once asked if he liked his work in Africa. His reply was as follows:
Do I like this work? No. My wife and I do not like dirt. We have reasonably refined sensibilities. We do not like crawling into vile huts through goat refuse. We do not like association with ignorant, filthy, brutish people. But is a man to do nothing for Christ he does not like? God pity him, if not. Liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. We have orders to “Go,” and we go. Love constrains us.
All I can say to that response is, “GOD BLESS YOU, SIR. MAY YOUR KIND INCREASE!!!” In far too many instances Christianity has become the realm of the uncommitted, the entitled, and the narcissistic. The average Christian nowadays is looking for a church that provides everything and demands precious little in the way of service. That’s why they won’t stay in a church that is struggling, not when there is a dream church just up the road that has everything going full bore.
I mean, why volunteer to start a youth ministry at your little church when you and your kids can switch churches and join in with a youth ministry that is already operating at top speed? Why put in the work to get your Sunday School class built up when you can change churches and walk into a large class your first Sunday there? Why give your monetary offerings to help pay the meager salary of the pastor at your church when those same offerings can go toward meeting the million-dollar budget of the local “super church”?
After all, God’s whole purpose concerning your life is to keep you happy, prosperous, and “in” with the proper crowd, right? He doesn’t want you to help out the lowly, the needy, the wounded, the hurting, or the disenfranchised. He understands that you just aren’t comfortable in such settings, doesn’t He? He knows that you’re meant to soar with the eagles, not grovel around with the prairie chickens.
I’m glad that Jesus didn’t operate like a lot of Christians. If He had, His ministry — not to mention those to whom He ministered — would have looked a lot different. There would have been no special trip to witness to the scandalous woman in the Samaritan village of Sychar. He certainly would never have touched a leper. There would have been no trip to Gadara to deal with a worst-case scenario of demon possession. And the idea of Him washing the dusty, dirty, smelly feet of the apostles as part of His last meal with them would have been unthinkable. You see, all of that requires the loving heart of a true SERVANT as opposed to the heart of someone who is always looking for an easy time and a pleasant situation.
Let me again quote that missionary’s profound question: “Is a man to do nothing for Christ he does not like?” Listen, if the God you serve never disagrees with you and never wills you to do anything you don’t want to do, you aren’t serving the true and living God. It’s just that simple. I know this because there are scores and scores of Bible stories in which God asks people to tackle difficult assignments, assignments they didn’t want to tackle. So, Christian, please think about this the next time you have a choice to make as to what God would have you do. I won’t go so far as to say that He always has the more difficult path in mind for you, but I speak from personal experience when I say that you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if He does.