Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Attempt Something Small

St. Paul in Prison, Rembrandt
The seminary I attend recently began a campaign centered on the theme, “Attempt Something Big.” This is an excellent theme which is certainly supported by Scripture. Moses was attempting something big when he marched into Pharaoh’s court. David was attempting something big when he volunteered to fight Goliath. Paul was attempting something big when he set sail on mission to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. 

However, there is a subtle danger in the drive to do big things for Jesus. I often sense this danger in my own heart, and I suspect I am not alone. 

To stand on a stage. To travel the world. To be perceived as successful. To be influential. To write a bestseller. To start a movement. To lead an interesting and exciting life. 

These desires are so easily baptized. Unlike the desire for wealth and pleasure, the desire for fame and influence can be disguised as – or simply intertwined with – the desire to make a difference for the Kingdom. 

Furthermore, the drive to do something big for Jesus can foster a sense of spiritual inferiority. “If I was fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit, I would be leading a revival.” “If I was truly sold out for Jesus, I would be in Africa building an orphanage.” “If I was radically devoted to the gospel, my life would not be so boring.” 

Consider Paul’s instructions to the church at Thessalonica: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you” (1 Thes 4:11). 

As Christians, we are often called to attempt something small. We are called to simply buckle down and work hard at the mundane tasks God has set before us. The world calls us to be famous; Jesus calls us to be faithful.

1 comment:

Peter Berkman said...

Well stated Murray. Amen!