An Alternative Culture: Learning to BEG (part I)
– By Ron Simkins
What is “Jesus’ Way of Living?” It seems clear in some respects, if we look at the counter-cultural way Jesus lived and what he taught. However, what his followers should emphasize in their own lives varies greatly from context to context.
It might help to think of how today’s society acts and responds in vastly different ways than Jesus did. Right now, for instance, one of the most counter-cultural challenges of “Jesus’ Way” is to see how different it is from the polarization and negativity and degrading talk of the current cultural milieu.
In response to that milieu, I would like to challenge each of us to learn from Jesus how to BEG. Before you read the following, please believe that I do not mean it in some fluffy and romanticized way. As a former athlete, and the parent of three children, I am deeply aware that positive encouragement can be honest, and even at times tough minded.
So, what do I mean? Today’s blog features the first part of a challenging acronym—one we also need to “beg” the Lord to empower among us.
TO BEG—B is for “BUILD”
Supporting texts (a few of many):
1 Corinthians 14:12—Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
1 Thessalonians 5:10-11—Jesus the Messiah died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Can you imagine what it would look like if every time you walked into the NCF building, every time you walked into work, every time you walked into your house, every time you turned on your TV or Internet, everyone was trying to build others up—supporting them in knowing their value and in becoming all God made them to be! We are called to witness to tastes of this COMING society of Jesus NOW! Not just by saying it, but by allowing Jesus to empower us to do it!
A story about “building up:”
On Sunday, when I asked for personal stories that demonstrate this “building up,” V. told about how she was “built up” when she was just about crushed by life and abuse. Someone met with her regularly for 3 years and every time reminded her that “Jesus loves you.” She said, “I finally came to know it was true.”
Do you have a story that would serve as a practical example of being built up? Or do you have input into how we can make the following challenge practical—in other words one we are living out in our daily lives? Please consider sharing it with the rest of us. I have no doubt that this emphasis is right, but I am not always the best person to come up with practical group responses that work for others.
Look for the second part of this post series next week.