I’ve been reading Charles Sheldon’s book by that title as my “nursing book” for the last couple weeks. While I don’t agree with every principle put forth in this work, I have found myself very compelled by the question “What would Jesus do?”
See, I was of the commercialized WWJD movement, where you wore a nylon bracelet, maybe had a bumper sticker or a t-shirt, and that made you a good Christian. Reminds me of a Steven Curtis Chapman song, which asks, “What about the change? What about the difference?” All those externals are worthless if there is no change of heart.
One paragraph in Sheldon’s book stung particularly, because it hits close to home. We congratulate ourselves on our giving, our 10% tithe, but do we really sacrifice in any way? Not just to bring a man a meal, but to bring him the truth of Christ? For what reason are we shy? Why are we trying to save face? Or in Sheldon’s words:
The bishop found his heart sinking within him as he faced this fact: that men would give money who would not think of giving themselves. And the money they gave did not represent any real sacrifice because they did not miss it. They gave what was easiest to give, what hurt them the least. Where did the sacrifice come in? Was this following Jesus? Was this going with Him all the way?
This book’s illustrations are not of well-dressed Christians in 3,000 square foot homes going on 10-day “mission trips” and returning, weeping for “those poor people who don’t have any stuff.” It contains hard questions asked by people without hope. And others who took a pledge to follow in Christ’s footsteps, even when, in some cases, it really meant selling all they had and moving to the worst part of the city to offer hope.
It’s radical. And here I sit with my fat, Laodicean heart, waiting for “The Call.” The call to give, to serve, to LOVE sacrificially.
I am under no illusion that God calls every single Christian to go and live with the poor, meeting physical and spiritual needs. He uses that money that we earn and give. I simply don’t want to be so comfortable in my suburban life that I refuse to open my ears once in a while and reevaluate, to make sure that my family is where He wants us. The Call is for all believers.
“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find doing so when he comes.” – Matthew 24:46