“Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James. 4:17
Every day, we are bombarded with information. One scroll through our Facebook news feed presents twenty different causes, most of which are worthy ones. The quantity of information about the multitude of injustices can be paralyzing, making a verse like this one in James seem daunting.
But in the midst of the chaos, there is a God who has called us to good works. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Eph. 2:10). It may not be any of the tasks you are presented with in social media, but there is something for you.
Do we know?
If you have been around WRCC for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard about The Journey and its subsequent courses, Way of Life and Walking with Others. These courses take us through the quesions: Who is God? Who am I? and What does God want to do through me? As you walk through these courses, you come to understand that Jesus is up to something good around us. He is always working, and we are called to join him in this work. But it can take time to discover the good works God has planned for you; we need to spend time in prayer, study and community to learn about God, ourselves and our calling.
If you are not involved in a community that challenges you to think deeper about these questions, I encourage you to do so. Without a safe place to wrestle with our God-given purpose, we can feel pulled in a multitude of directions and yet accomplish very little.
Do we care?
Some of us have discovered the good works God has prepared for us, but we avoid them. The way of Jesus is not one in which we get noticed or praised; most of the tasks we are called to do are done in service of others, and they rarely put us in the limelight. And so we balk at these tasks and choose to instead be on center stage. Here we can say we are about the work of God, and most importantly, people can see that we are about the work of God. But the reality is that we may not be about the work of God. When the disciples were arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest, Jesus responded with these words:
“In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:25-26
Among us it will be different. The God who came to serve us asks us to serve others. We might be called to serve a drug addict, a prison inmate, a special needs adult or a group of toddlers on Sunday morning. We probably won’t get much notice for these things, or if we do, the publicity we get may not be the kind we like. But it is this work that is essential to the Kingdom of God.
Often, we are called to minister from our wounds and failures rather than our successes. After years of infertility, my husband and I finally have a baby girl. She is everything we ever dreamed of. And yet, I still bear the scars of infertility, and I feel most in tune with my purpose when I am walking beside others still trudging through the murky waters of infertility. I felt very alone in my journey, but now the Lord keeps bringing beautiful women into my life who don’t have to be alone in theirs. It is a incredibly healing to walk alongside women who bear my same wounds and scars; he is healing me as he heals them.
Today, as you scroll through your social media pages, think about the things God has called you to do. We can’t do it all, and if we try to do it all, we won’t do anything very well. But we can do some things; we can watch and ask and pray for God to make our daily purpose clear to us.
And remember that it is often the things that get us the least amount of notice that mean the most in this upside-down Kingdom. Changing diapers, cooking meals, holding the hand of a friend suffering a loss–it all matters. So go about your day with intentionality and confidence, knowing that Jesus is up to good things and is doing these good things through you.