At what point in your life does the ministry you’re committed to take over the way you look at every day life? This past weekend I went shopping for a new pair of dress shoes for work. I always hate shoe shopping because when I buy a pair of shoes I’m making a commitment to them. I polish and take care of them until I have literally worn through the soles and I have to go through the process all over again. Then I have to go through the arduous task of comparing price, comfort, and style at multiple stores. So on Sunday, after 2 hours and visiting 6 different stores, I finally got two new pair of shoes. When I got home I took the old pair and put them in the waste basket in our bedroom. Over the next couple of days, every time I’d walk by the waste basket I’d look at those shoes and think “why did I buy new shoes? They still look nice. Did I need to spend the money?” And immediately after that I’d remember visiting Mexico last summer and all of the people in the church we built whose dress shoes looked worse than the two I had sitting in my trash can.
I have this type of experience a lot anymore. As I’ve dedicated more of my time to supporting and advocating for those less fortunate I’ve found my world view to be changing. I still enjoy shopping, but as I’m deciding on the purchase the WorldVision catalog flashes in my mind and the decision is then between my new Xbox game or a goat for a family in Africa. Our family still goes out to eat, but we don’t go to places like Golden Corral anymore because I can’t stand to see the piles of food thrown away. For a long time I prayed that I would see the world through Jesus’ eyes and I feel like that’s starting to happen; and it’s breaking my heart.
A few years ago we had to make some cuts at work. There was a huge budget shortfall due to the downturn in the economy and drastic measures had to be taken. As the leadership team sat down with us to review a strategy they looked at every dollar as someone’s job. We wound up cutting things like employee picnics and Christmas dinners saying, that’s Johns job or that’s Diane’s job we just saved. Employees throughout the organization began suggesting ideas of cost savings, giving up many of their “Employee perks” to save their job and the jobs of their friends. It was amazing. It no longer was about the money, it was about the people. When the year came to an end, when administration showed how much money had been saved, the final number was portrayed in jobs saved.
So many times we tell people “If you were the only sinner on Earth, Jesus still would have died for you”. That’s a powerful statement. You’re saying Jesus would have gone through all the pain, suffering, and exclusion for one person. Jesus’ every action was based on the life that He was changing in that moment. Every thought, every word, and every action was done with the love and care for others. He looked at each decision as a person. When you wholeheartedly commit yourself to serving others, your daily decisions take on a whole new meaning. It’s no longer just about you, it’s about others. That’s when your life and the lives of everyone around you will change. Because then it’s not the dollars, time, clothing, food, etc. that you’ve donated. It’s Bill, Susan, Jose, Michel, Xu, Rajeesh, Joakim…
When you truly pray to see the world as Jesus would see it, you’re heart will ache to bring joy to those around you.