I am a driven, goal-oriented person. Generally I spend Saturday evenings planning the week ahead. This week, after a particularly successful week, I decided to review the past week in a very different way. Instead of measuring how much I accomplished or how successful I was in advancing my goals, I reflected on exactly how much I accomplished for God and how successful I was in pursuing His goals. The results were not nearly as good as I would have hoped or expected of myself.
As you look back over the past week, are you able to point to several instances of accomplishing Kingdom work? Don’t sell yourself short by performing this exercise too quickly. A kind word here, a helping hand there; take some time to really think this through. I encourage you to write down everything you can think of that you accomplished for God’s kingdom over the past week. How long is your list? Give an estimate of the amount of time it took to perform each of the actions, although I warn you this is a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand, it should become obvious how little time it takes to demonstrate God’s love and mercy to someone else. On the flip side, if you add up the time for all the things on your list, you will more than likely be appalled at what a small percentage of our lives we spend actually serving Jesus.
For the second exercise, think back over your week looking for times you advanced the Kingdom agenda. This goes beyond simply sharing God’s love with someone else. While love is absolutely an essential kingdom activity and goal, what I am referring to here are the more tangible actions: feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, clothing the needy or caring for the widows and orphans. What percentage of your time last week was spent engaging in the above activities? What percentage of your money was spent on these same endeavors?
How did you do? If you are like me, the above exercises will drive you to your knees. We are the called, and this is how we prove it? We are the revolution, and this is how we carry that out? We claim to love Jesus more than anything in this world, and this is how we show it? The realization of my true motives and allegiances are gut-wrenching; it is pure agony to profess such love for Him and show such little proof.
Apathy is defined as “an absence of emotion or enthusiasm”. Can we honestly call ourselves anything other than apathetic followers of Jesus? Where is our enthusiasm to show His love and mercy throughout our day? It should spill out of us uncontrollably at all times; yet we spend most of our days self-absorbed and oblivious to those around us. Where is our emotion for helping the poor and seeking justice for those in need? Why are our hearts not broken by the things that break the heart of God? Why are we not compelled to use the time, money and talents He has entrusted to us to help others? Life goes on, and we go along with it, simply floating along in the current of selfishness.
We are called to be different; we have chosen this calling by voluntarily giving our lives to follow Jesus. This is an optional path; Christ does not require us to walk in His way. He merely invites us to do so. If we are not going to take our calling seriously, if we cannot bring great enthusiasm and emotion to the cause, what is the point? Don’t let another week float by without purposefully taking action for the Kingdom. Time spent doing Kingdom work should always outweigh time spent on ourselves. Determine anew that this week will be a week of truly following Jesus. Seek His face and be the Kingdom at every moment and to everyone. We are not called to apathy, but rather to action.