since i started blogging sixteen months ago, my worldview has shifted gradually yet drastically. the main reason for this shift, i think, is the people i have allowed to influence me: people like francis chan, jeff lucas, doug hollis (missionary to indonesia), and jim and jody smith (missionaries to china). these people have introduced me to new way of looking at life. i am still very focused on pursuing the kingdom and on learning what it means to be a citizen of the kingdom (the foundational concept of “your best life later”), but i sense that i have become quite impatient–perhaps even hyper-critical–of christian leaders who live nominal christian lives. i realize that i am cloistered in the bible belt, but i see very few christian leaders who are laying their lives down for the gospel, and calling people to follow them in that lifestyle.
which brings me to today’s topic of discussion.
micah campbell is a choice friend who reads and occasionally comments on my blog. on my recent post on racism, micah made the following comment…
Now I might get in trouble for this, but does anyone else feel the tide of reverse discrimination/racism? From affirmative action to impending Caucasian minority status, there sometimes seems to be an unfair standard. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I get tired of having to be politically correct while newscasters increasingly over-pronounce their last name to show their ethnic background and every other month is such and such appreciation month. I guess what I’m saying is, why isn’t equal simply equal?
i tell him he’s a cynic, but micah is a passionate young man who is striving mightily to become christlike. i am not condemning him because i certainly relate to what he is saying, and similar feelings often rise up in me. the simple truth, though, is that when i feel marginalized and put upon, i am made aware that i have not embraced the idea of death to self. if there is one truism jesus demonstrated more than any other, it is that we surrender our rights when we become followers of jesus. please allow me to say that again. slowly. we…surrender…our…rights. all of them. we no longer have rights. jesus allowed himself to be ripped off, exploited, denounced, slandered, falsely accused, arrested, mocked, beaten, and crucified with no resistance whatsoever. and, if i recall correctly, he said, “follow me.”
and we get upset when we are treated unfairly.
in the brand-new issue of catalyst leadership there is a compelling article called “mangoes, money, and the abundant life” by fred elliot-hart, formerly a medical missionary to jamaica. he talks about the perspective on money/giving he developed from living in that third-world culture. i was especially moved by one part of this story:
Living with and seeing “brothers in need” and responding by giving what I have–skills, expertise, time, money, myself–comes at a cost. Yet, what Christian can afford to cling stubbornly to supposed personal rights even as the Holy Spirit cried “Give! Give!”? The greatest stress associated with living in sight of a brother in need is not giving in to the Holy Spirit’s call to die to ourselves.
the more i know jesus, the more comfortable i become with the idea of death. and i fall more in love with the idea of “kingdom.” and i become more and more confident in his promises concerning my life and my future. and the less enamored i am with my alleged “rights.”