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Lent Day 17

“I have to witness to this person.  It is my job to save them.”  We may not say that outloud, but our actions sometimes convey this belief.  I was taken captive by this lie for many years; the lie that it was my job to “save” someone.  I noticed this most when I would take high school and middle school kids to Young Life camp.  I would get so worked up and stressed on the days leading up to the trip.  Once we got on the bus I morphed into some sort of freak.  I was uptight, tried too hard to be relevant to kids, and was not myself.  During the week of camp I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to get these kids into the Kingdom.  It was my job and God was counting on me.

You see, what we “market” with Christianity, in a very subtle way, is that we have something the person in front of us doesn’t have.  In order to have it they must come our way, conform to our way of thinking, and then they will be “in the club.”  A couple of years ago, Billy Graham made a comment about his methodology throughout his public ministry.  He said our pitch was, “We had it and they didn’t.  This was not accurate.  Christ comes to us, we don’t take Christ to anyone.”  When someone says yes to faith they are not entering into the club.  To say yes  is to simply recognize that because of what Jesus did we are already in communion with God.  It is to engage in communion with God as Father, Son and Spirit.  It is to participate in what God is doing in our own lives and the lives of others.

A few years ago as these truths came to me and I began to  enjoy participating with God in what He was doing in the lives of  kids, instead of trying to save them.  In fact, the question of,” Is this person or that person saved?” is a pretty trivial question.  Perhaps a better question would be, “Does she know that she is loved by the Father?”  After all, if we don’t know the answer to that question, I mean really know it, then we don’t have much life to offer anyone else.

Lie: It is my job to “save” people.

Truth: God is the one who draws people to himself.

Jesus said “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44)

1 reply on “Lent Day 17”

Good post, Shawn. Anyone growing up in church culture can probably relate to this short-sighted pressure. Thanks for paying attention and continuing to write.

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