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From radical wannabe to rich young ruler

Jesus attracted a lot of people seeking more out of life. The more desperate they were, the more grace they got. The more self-sufficient they were, the more content in their false self, the more Jesus rattled their cages.The rich young ruler came to Jesus, and Jesus told him to liquidate hi…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Jesus attracted a lot of people seeking more out of
life. The more desperate they were, the
more grace they got. The more
self-sufficient they were, the more content in their false self, the more Jesus
rattled their cages.

The rich young ruler came to Jesus, and Jesus told him to
liquidate his insurance policies and remove every safety net (see the story in
Matthew 19). But by then he’d gotten
hooked on the opium of self-sufficiency – it was too late. He went away forlorn but unchanged.

We have a nation of rich young rulers hooked on
self-sufficiency and comfort. Those
coming from Christian families are stuck following a radical master whose words
make no sense to their practical ears.

I listened to this interview between a couple of
Christian cynics interviewing World Racer Chad Mast last week. What’s remarkable is the conversation they have
with one another after finishing the interview.
Go to the 45-minute mark to hear it.

Erik genuinely wants to experience the power of God. He’s prayed for people to be healed before
and been disappointed. He admires Chad’s
Jesus and is interested in talking about him, but feels stuck where he’s at.

There’s a whole generation of Eriks out there who are
stuck in a comfort addiction. They don’t
like the reflection in the mirror, but don’t want to pay the price for a
makeover. When they see someone like
Chad really going for it, they say, “I could never be like that.”
They despair, thinking they could never be anything more than a nominal Christian. For people
like that, America is a crack house for their addiction.

If you feel conflicted, seeing the self-sufficiency in
your life, but unsure about how to escape its grasp, I recommend meditating on
2 Timothy 3 for a month to help you see reality. Then, consider the World Race as your
methadone treatment.

Comments (7)

  • awesome post… I can hardly wait til my lunch break to listen to the interview…

    praying for you always…

    vickie

  • It’s important to remember that the “Chad Mast” model of “radical living” is only one example of an assortment of options out there. Equally important, the Chad Mast model is only a desirable option for a very small percentage of the Christian community (specifically conservative, white and evangelical).

    The virutues of simplicity, solidarity and ecumenical living can and have been embodied in ways that are also intellectually astute and culturally sensitive. Though these alternatives are less flamboyant, they are no less laudable.

  • Morgan (jan 07 racer)

    I’ve been so surprised since being home from the World Race how many people say “wow, I would give anything to do something like that, I would love it.”

    So I respond…”Well why don’t you apply, it’s a pretty amazing experience.”

    Then they immediately say, “I can’t!” Followed by any variety of excuses, “I have a job.” “I can’t move.” “I might loose the muscles I’ve worked so hard to build.” (actually heard that one from a guy, true story.)

    I believe that you can live out a radical life with Christ anywhere, but I think there are thousands of people who are ready for a challenge like the World Race in their life but are truly addicted to what they have and scared of change. It makes me really sad to see so many of my friends missing such great opportunities.

  • I like these thoughts, Kevin:
    “The virtues of simplicity, solidarity and ecumenical living can and have been embodied in ways that are also intellectually astute and culturally sensitive. Though these alternatives are less flamboyant, they are no less laudable.”

    What are these alternatives?

    The Chad Mast model is much less attractive to me than the Jesus model, which I think Seth does a good job describing here no matter what, we must abandon something to follow Christ and not get caught up in self-justification. It should be uncomfortable, and if we have to go to lengths to feel at peace about where we are in life (career, possessions, choices), then we may have to clean house.

  • Living as a radical is comfortable. Yes, it’s in Christ that believers find total sufficiency.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s easy. Your surroundings will take your focus away from the life He has called you to. Your flesh will fight daily to keep you from pursuing the word He has whispered in my ear.
    I have left my job, my house, my extended family to pursue Him. I challenge others to do the same. The more you wait, the more you become engaged in things outside your dream.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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