It is NOT about Being Nice

If being nice is all you have in your “I am a Christian” repertoire, you need to do some soul searching.  Start small, sure, but think like you have a big God backing you.  Plan big.  And by all means, take action!

“Whoever believes in me will do . . . even greater things than I have done.” — Jesus (John 14:12).

One thing I learned in the corporate world – especially during the internet startup years – was that if you thought small that is all you would ever be.  I would go out to investigate companies that we were thinking of buying.  What I wanted to find at the head of a company was a crazy twenty-something with big ideas who didn’t know he or she could fail.  These renegades were running circles around small experienced thinkers who thought they needed to play by the same old ridiculous rules and play it safe.

I think this is what the Kingdom of God needs. Renegades! Not people whose biggest goal is to be “nice” or make sure the church is following a list of “rules” that keep it safe.  But people who are capable of meaningful, messy, difficult love. Not because they are smart enough or good enough, but because they are empowered by the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit.

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17

13.1 million children in American went to bed hungry last night.  They don’t need nice. They need followers of Jesus to stand up to the injustices perpetuated against them.  To top it off, the GOP’s budget is looking at reducing and/or eliminating Federal money for programs like Meals on Wheels, School Lunches, and the like.  Are you just going stand by like a “nice” little Christian and let this happen?

“People are hungry in this country not because there’s not enough food here. It’s not because of drought, and it’s not because of famine or war. It’s because we don’t have the political will to make sure that every single person is fed. We can end hunger in this country. There are a lot of intractable problems and issues that we can’t fix, but we can end hunger. When you fix that problem, you’ve fixed a lot of other problems in the country. — NPR Interview

This afternoon, I will be taking some good healthy food over to a family who have become my friends through an elementary school that I volunteer at.  They are so poor that they share a tiny one bedroom basement apartment with another family.  Half of them sleep on the floor because there is no room for a proper bed for everyone.  This is all they can afford even though all of the adults work hard, being paid minimum wage, of course—which is not a living wage. All this is happening in one of the richest communities in the USA! BUT if I can do this, me, a person known to be afraid of her own shadow at times, then you can do it too! Especially if you grab a friend.

What are you doing to fix it? How much love can you share? Can you take part of your dinner to someone in need tonight?

You say you don’t know anyone in need?  Now why is that?  Why don’t you know anyone in need?  Too busy to make time? To volunteer?  Too busy being nice to the nice?  Too many activities going on at church to reach out to those in your community in need?

If you love God, you will feed the poor. This is a fact. It will be messy.  It will be complicated.  It may require voting differently where your need for lower taxes is put on a back burner. It may require putting that new sports car on an indefinite hold. It may require going to protests at your congressional representative’s offices. It may be hard.  But you will find a way.

Nice simply isn’t going to cut it.  Lovingkindness empowered by the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit will.

Check out April’s Books.  She’d love for you to find the words “Follow” somewhere on this page (depending on your browser) and follow her blog too!

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