Not only can we come off as judgmental when we take action, it is easy for us to actually become judgmental. People are under enough conviction from the Holy Spirit, they don’t need us to keep ragging on them. I love Micah 6:8.
to do. This has never been better addressed than by the biblical
prophet Micah: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does
the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk
humbly with your God.” (6:8)
Pretty simple. Love mercy. Do justice. Walk humbly. If you
struggle with the simplicity of these statements as I do, here are a few
simple tips on how to get started (and how to get others started):
1. Start small. Step out your front door, find
someone who is hurting, and make a connection. When I first moved to
Nashville, I didn’t know what to do about the visible poverty and
homelessness I encountered. So, I started by showing up at the local
homeless shelter once a week. Pretty soon, I wasn’t just another
volunteer; I was a part of people’s lives. I was able to hear their
stories and even share a few of my own. In the process, I learned what
real mercy was all about.
2. Keep it personal. Don’t look to bureaucratic programs to solve every problem; see what you
can to do to help change another life. For example, consider how my
friend Luke’s faith was revitalized when his church in Illinois got
involved in the Advent Conspiracy. The really amazing part was not the
thousands of dollars his church raised for wells in Africa. What was
amazing was how inspired Luke was to take the initiative to raise money
for an orphan through Facebook. He’s continued doing this for years now.
This is an aspect of justice that we Christians need to remember.
3. Stay humble. Social justice junkies can
sometimes come off as judgmental and condemning. It’s not uncommon for a
small group to get really psyched about helping the poor, while others
don’t “get” it. If this happens in your church, look for opportunities
to build bridges between the two groups. No one should be a part of any
ministry out of guilt, and at the same time, everyone should have a
chance to get involved.
One way to do this is by telling compelling stories. A great example
of this is what Journey Community Church in San Diego is doing to
empower the indigenous Haitian church to rebuild its country. Pastor Ed
Noble was personally rocked by a visit to Haiti shortly after the
earthquake and knew that his church needed to get involved. However, he
invited them not through guilt or compulsion, but by telling stories
that were so irresistible people couldn’t help not getting involved.
There are so many creative ways for the church to “do justice” in our
world to day. So, what do you say? Let’s get on with it.
As usual Great Blog, on my way to the cabin with my 80 year old dad and a spanish imigrant friend.. But before I hit the road, you did some “heart” surgery on me.. love you man!!
GOOD WORD SETH
Good one. love it.
I hands down agree with this. Something I would love to do in my life is give the “everyday” man and woman a chance to create change in the world. Alot of people feel helpless or disconnected from the world’s issues (and that includes America), because they feel they don’t have the money, or don’t have the liberty to go on a mission trip, or whatever.
Those who are able need to step out and do something. And those who are able need to become funnels of opportunity for those who think they are unable. Create programs that involve the community’s involvement. Bring people together. People at home can send missionaries out to the field, be it America or anywhere else.
Mankind is full of capable individuals. All it really takes to get things going is the action of the few.
Led a Bible study at work today and we were discussing “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” One of the questions I asked was “how can you show mercy to other people in your life or people you encounter throughout the day?”
Convicted by the idea that being merciful is not just an emotion, but an emotion that leads us to take action.
As I pray for God to lead me into a ministry where I can serve full-time, I can learn from this that all successful ministries have started out small, with one merciful word or good deed. To paraphrase, ‘Be faithful with the little things and who knows what God might choose to do through you!’
this is so true!
also … how cool to know that people around the world are gathering in Bible study! I was just at worship with the Micah Project last night (www.micahcentral.org) and we are reading through the sermon on the mount. It was so neat to read Matt’s post and praise God for His glory throughout every nation!
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