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Are you the person you want to be?

In Wrecked for the Ordinary, an online magazine we started back in January of this year with the purpose of waking up a generation to the abundant life, Casey Milleson writes about the tension with which we’re all familiar – who you are and who God wants you to be. This is why some American Chri…
By Seth Barnes

In Wrecked for the Ordinary, an online magazine we started back in January of this year with the purpose of waking up a generation to the abundant life, Casey Milleson writes about the tension with which we’re all familiar – who you are and who God wants you to be.

This is why some American Christians have become disillusioned with short-term missions. The reality, I think, is that dying to self is a process; it takes time and patience. Although a trip to Africa can jump-start the process; it’s no quick-fix. And the truth is that we’re all in process. I have a great deal of hope for people like Casey who know that they were created for more than the American dream. My prayer is that she and others like her will give themselves some grace and continue to let God radicalize them.

This past summer, I traveled to Kenya and had the best month of my life. I loved everyone I saw. I didn’t worry about anyone’s past, but simply loved them for being who God created them to be.

I was the most tired I’ve ever been, but I had an overwhelming amount of energy and desire to make the most out of every opportunity. I didn’t use words to preach the Gospel. I spoke the language of love through my actions.

I went into the markets and learned about people’s lives, and we dove head first into the common misconceptions between America and Africa.

I didn’t disassociate myself from non-Christians, but loved them because of our similarities. Several years ago, I was at the same point they’re at in their lives. As I look back at my journal from Africa, I notice a powerful statement that I wrote after I had been home for 24 hours:

“My life was simple for an entire month. It was me and Jesus walking through the streets of Karatina and Nairobi. Now that I’m in America, I see people engrossed in themselves and I don’t want to return to being the person I was when I left. I want to be welcoming and loving like a Kenyan. Please give me a heart like yours, Jesus.”

Here I am, back to the person I didn’t want to be. I’ve allowed myself to return to the American culture, becoming too busy to notice the subtle things that God is doing in my life. I’ve become judgmental again; I’ve allowed my love for orphans and homeless people to be dimmed. I’ve become a person that I don’t like.

Why? The only thing that can explain why I have let all of these things go to the back of my mind is that I am sinful in nature. I am not good. I always want to do the wrong thing, but I have to fight to do what’s right. I agree – it’s not a good excuse. That’s why I’m bringing it to my own attention. I need to purposefully become who God wants me to be-an individual who doesn’t judge people, but loves them no matter what. That’s what Jesus did and that’s what I want to do.

(Read the whole article in Wrecked’s Simplicity Section…)

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