The word "enough" is the enemy of the Gospel. The word "enough" about killed me spiritually.
For many years I have lived with a complex... Have I given enough? Do I love enough? Do I share Christ enough? Do I sacrifice enough? Should I be living in a downtown Durham project? Should I adopt 3 adolescent runaways from Russia? Should I be sharing our house with a homeless man? Should I give away 50% of my income?
Every time I have heard a new preacher with a new "cause" I have left thinking, "Do I have to do that to be a real disciple of Jesus? Am I doing enough?"
That is because many well meaning (though I think misguided Christian preachers) preach a message built on enough. Their message often appears to be, "Do you give enough to the poor to really consider yourself a good Christian? Why don't Christians in America die like Jesus' first followers? After all, good Christians... adopt, live poor, die martyr's deaths, win all their neighbors to Jesus, use only recycled cooking oil, drive hybrids... etc. I am forever thinking, "If I were a real Christian, I'd be doing this... (and, to be fair, it's not always the individual preacher's fault, sometimes it's how I misinterpret them--which has more to do with me... I seem addicted to works-righteousness and can turn anything into a new "standard" to reach.)
Obviously, giving and any form of sacrificial living are all important questions and things that many Christians who have experienced the love of the Gospel will want to do. But never in the context of "enough."
Monday, October 26, 2009