Question: Why go elsewhere to serve the Lord, when so many here still do not believe? There is plenty of work to do here for the Lord. Instead of worrying about Africa, why not pray for you neighbor and share Jesus with him?
Suppose you fall down and cut yourself in two places. Your finger
has a slight cut which dribbles blood; while the bottom of your foot gushes
blood, and threatens to cause severe blood loss if not stanched.
Now, which wound less visible? Which is harder to reach? Which
is more painful to disinfect, and more difficult to bandage? The
foot, of course. Now, which wound should you take care of first?
The foot, of course! Even if you do nothing for the finger, it will
heal up soon on its own.
Is it not the same with the Body of Christ? Should we not be attending first and foremost to the parts which are most deeply wounded, even if they are the hardest to reach?
Question: Shouldn't we wait until the Lord calls before going out on missions?
The need itself is the call. If your heart were not hardened to the
need, you would have heard the call already.
Think of your current situation. Are you there because the Lord called you there, or because you are comfortable? In fact you don't WANT God to call you elsewhere, which is the very reason you can't hear His call.
When no specific call is present, then we must operate on God's principles. Jesus clearly tells us whom we should be inviting to His banquet. We should actively seek for the poor, sick, afflicted, and estranged (Luke 14:12-24). The less they are in a position to repay us, the more we should be seeking them out!
Question: But God is a loving Father – would He really want me to live a hardship-filled life amidst poverty and death?
Answer: Why should God want you to be more comfortable than any of His other children? Is it because you deserve it? Is it because your faith is somehow "better" than theirs? Is it because you have made better life choices than they have? This is the rankest, rawest pride.
I agree, I should do something to help the unfortunate. Isn't
it enough to pray for them, and send money?
Answer: Consider the current situation of Christians in southern Sudan. Suppose it was your own brother or sister who was being bombed, starved, and sold into slavery. Would you not do more for them? Would you not make far more sacrifices, deny yourself amusements and pleasures, and even lower your standard of living, in order to free up time and money to help them?
But there are far too many needy people in the world for me to help them
Answer: Having a large family does not excuse you from your obligation to help to the utmost of your strength.
The real problem is not that so many are needy: the problem is that you do not consider them as your family. Also, another problem is that your own comfort holds an obscenely high place on your list of priorities.
If your conscience truly tells you that this dialogue does not apply to you, then may God bless you. Nevertheless, he who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Copyright © 2001 CrossPollen
Last Revised: June 3, 2001
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