When “doing something” isn’t good enough …
The message from Nike: “Just do it.”
The message from many pulpits: “Do something!”
Those two messages aren’t the same thing, and it’s turning out the message from Nike might be the more correct one.
As the church has been going through the throes of decline in our culture, and professing Christians have wallowed in the comfort of their padded pews, safely tucked away from the world, church leaders began a desperate plea for Christians to just “do something.”
In fact, a very popular Christian fiction book builds to the climax of what is supposedly a great message from God to man: “Do something!”
Don’t just sit there and let people perish, or starve, or hurt, or be homeless, or be alone.
“Do something!” came the cry.
Because people weren’t doing something, instead of challenging them to pack up and head out to the far reaches of the globe to make disciples, we whittled that down to convenient week-long mission trips where we only have to do a little but still feel like we’ve done a lot, squeeze in some sight-seeing, and then return to the comforts of home, spiritually satiated.
Not comfortable sharing the Gospel with someone? No problem! Just build a friendship with them, that will do the trick! Of course, evangelism by osmosis isn’t a reality, but it sounds good and is much easier than actually telling someone about the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Too much to write a check, bring it to church, and put it in the offering plate as it’s passed? No problem! We’ll let you give online while you’re surfing porn on the web so it will be “easier.”
Is meeting the ongoing needs of the people around you just too much to ask? No problem! We’ll develop little “projects” to help people so that you have to do very little; what one person could do we’ll break up into 100 parts so 100 people can do something very little and not feel any pinch from it.
We’ve turned some of our “doing something” into symbolic acts … support this cause by wearing this ribbon, this pin, this bracelet, this color, or writing something on your wrist or hands. Thank you! That really cost you a lot to do that! You really changed the world by wearing a funky bracelet you thought looked cool.
Yes, I know, some of these symbolic acts help “raise awareness” about serious and important issues, but if that greater “awareness’ doesn’t translate into action that results in real change, all you have are more people aware of a problem that continues to persist.
We don’t really impact our world much by just “doing something.” And by doing just a little, we accomplish just a little. Symbolic acts of service are just that, symbolic acts.
Christ’s call on our lives isn’t to just “do something,” but to do everything He asks:
“23 Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it’,” Luke 9:23-24.
That message is much bigger than “do something.” Jesus lays out what we must do, and our response needs to be the Nike message.
Just do it!
Just do exactly what Jesus both asks and commands of us.
Do all of it! Spend, pour out, completely deplete your life doing what Jesus said.
Not part of it. Not a little of it. Not pieces of it. Not just “something.”
Just do it.