How God calls a Christian to live is clear and simple. You can phrase it any way you choose—engage others, share the story, live a missional life—it boils down to His call for us to live a life on mission. His mission.
The question is why don’t more Christians choose to live this way?
I don’t just mean going to another country as a missionary, either short or long-term. I mean living life in such a way that it drives every decision you make. But what does that even look like?
How does living a life on mission impact the way you spend your money; parent your children; spend your time; who you hang out with?
Maybe you have never given that much thought. Instead you make those decisions with no consideration how they impact your ability to live a missional life. In fact, if you ever think about living a life on mission it’s only a few times a year—like the end of the year when you consider making a donation to a “good cause” for a tax break.
“I don’t have time.”
“If I had more money…”
“My kids are too young.”
“I am too old.”
“I don’t like (insert here) food.”
“I am an introvert.”
excuses reasons are endless.
What is the Biggest Obstacle to living a life on mission?
It is the lack of grace to allow others to be different from us.
We prefer to remain homogenous. This applies to race, culture, language, worldview, economic status, even parenting styles. More things than not separate and isolate us. I am not saying that this is unnatural. Quite the opposite. We are drawn to the familiar and repelled by the different.
I suggest that left to ourselves we would never entertain leaving what we know as familiar and comfortable to engage that which isn’t. Something has to compel us to do this.
I believe this comes in the form of a person not a belief system. Yes, I believe that person is Jesus Christ. Why? Because this is His nature, and only His nature within us will compel us to live a life that engages others who are different than us, to do what is uncomfortable or stretches us, to strive to understand the needs of others.
Let’s talk about this nature of Jesus Christ. What makes this His nature?
I believe in a Triune God who reveals Himself as Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. I believe that God in His three Persons had no need to go outside Himself for anything. He was and is complete.
If you believe in a Creator God, then you believe that God didn’t allow His relational perfection to keep Him from creating His most prized creation—us.
He could have stopped there though. The “wind up creation and let it run on its own” view. But He didn’t stop there. What we celebrate during this season of Christmas is how God sent His son to enter our world. If anyone is different from us in every way possible, it is God.
Yet He, through His Son, stepped out of everything He needed, entered into everything different from His nature—flesh, finiteness, frailty, brokenness—and didn’t just endure it, He embraced it.
When His nature becomes our nature, we are compelled to live the same way. We willingly leave our comfort to live among what is unfamiliar. We accept, even invite, others much different than us to be a part of our lives.
As this Christmas season descends upon us, will you take a moment and ponder what compels you? Will you allow Jesus, the greatest gift ever given, change your nature and compel you to live a life on mission?
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