|« Here's #11||The Plain View »|
I finished reading "What's So Amazing About Grace" by Philip Yancey this week. Not a great book, but it did impact me and I'd recommend it. A few thoughts from the book that I came away with.
"The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church. . . You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace."
Yancey recounts the story of a preacher who struck up a conversation with a prostitute who was homeless, sick, and unable to buy food for her 2 year old daughter. She had been doing wretched things with her daughter to bring in money for her drug habit. The preacher asked her if she had ever considered going to a church for help. She replied, "Church! Why would I want to go there? I already feel horrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse." Admittedly, Christians aren't known for their grace. Yet it's the only thing we can provide that the world can't.
"Think of the impact if the first thing radical feminists thought of when the conversation turned to evangelical men was that they had the best reputation for keeping their marriage vows (ed. - yancey had just pointed out that the rate of divorce among evangelicals is about the same as the national average) and serving their wives in the costly fashion of Jesus at the cross. Think of the impact if the first thing the homosexual community thought of when someone mentioned evangelicals was that they were the people who lovingly ran the AIDS shelters and tenderly cared for them down to the last gasp. A little consistent wholesome modeling and costly servanthood are worth millions of true words harshly spoken."
Christians have become so politically motivated that I think winning in public policy has become more important than servanthood. Christ didn't say, "Legislate your neighbor to act as yourself." And he didn't say, "Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and then let HIM feed the poor." We seem to want the government to do the work God has called US to do.
I'm not just pointing fingers here because I'm certainly not known for my service to those in need or loving my neighbor as myself or feeding the hungry. Most of us are awfully lame as Christians and really don't deserve to call ourselves such. Yet God still loves us and forgives us and is always willing to give us another chance. That's what's so amazing about grace.
thanks for your thoughts - a good challenge and one that makes sense to personal spirituality