Finding Your Passion, Finding Your Place
There are millions of people in the world who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Many of those are children who either got the disease from their mother or became orphaned when it claimed both of their parents. All of this when the anti-viral medication exists that could prevent these tragedies, but a lack of access to the medicines keeps these people trapped in chaos and death. Also, millions of children’s lives are cut short every year before they are even given the chance to come out of the womb, and this all because our culture values “choice” more than innocence. Even in the 21st Century, hundreds of thousands of people are enslaved on farms, in factories, and for the sex-trade. The list of problems that face our world could go on and on and on. Yet, tragically, many of those who believe in Christ do little to help. Either from overload by the reality that there is too much to do, or from the simple lack of concern that only affluence can breed, the sad truth is that the Body of Christ—particularly in America—could do so much more than we currently are doing.
So what do we do? How can one individual possibly make a difference when the scope of these issues covers millions of people and multiple continents? The first thing that needs to happen is we need to recognize that we have a responsibility to act. The biblical commands to love our neighbor, be salt and light, and care for the least of these show that God wants us to act. Additionally, the principle of stewardship (to whom much is given, much is required) places a special emphasis on involvement for an affluent society such as ours.
Secondly, we need to realize that God isn’t calling us to “fix” all of the world’s problems; He’s calling us to serve Him faithfully. This service doesn’t mean that we have to be involved in all these terrible issues, but rather, find the one area that God has given you a burden for. If God leads you to the point where you are passionate about international health issues, run with it. If caring for mother’s and their unborn children is a big deal for you, than do it. The key thing is that you need to get off the sideline and into the game. It isn’t enough to just say that you care about something, you need to be the one to demonstrate Christ’s love to those who are hurting. The easiest way to do this is through prayer and being generous with your finances, but it should also include your time, and whatever talents God has given you.
The beauty of the biblical notion of the Body of Christ is that each part plays a specific role. If every part is functioning within its nature than the body works effectively and efficiently. As a Body we can’t assume that everyone should be burdened by the same issues that we are. If your passion is different than mine I need to praise God that He is using us each in a different way to spread His kingdom. Tragically, there are many out there who assume that whatever issue they care about is the only one that the Church should care about. Whether it is abortion, social justice, or a host of other concerns, we need to recognize that the Bible speaks to a broad range of issues. We should realize that we are all on the same team, each with a different role and passion, but ultimately working for the same goal: to glorify Christ in a lost and hurting world.
Finally, once we get involved we need to come to grips with the reality that we will never fix everything. Some causes may go on for generations and seem as if we haven’t even made a dent in them. But that is not the end of the story. The end of the story is that Jesus is going to come back triumphantly and make His Kingdom fully known. On that day there will be no more AIDS, no more abortion, homelessness, human trafficking, or hunger. But until then we need to roll up our sleeves, and get involved. Not because we think we can bring about the Kingdom by our good deeds, but because we know that our good deeds will show the world the smallest glimpse of what the Kingdom will bring.
“No single one of us can be engaged in everything a holistic mission demands. The same thought doubtless occurred to God, which is why He created the Church with a multiplicity of gifts and callings, so that we can, as a whole Church, bear witness to the whole gospel in the whole world.” -Christopher J. J. Wright