Once a person embraces responsibility, they become better citizens, better spouses, better community members… they just get better! That’s what all these transformation values do — they lift us to a higher level.
If people reach for only authority it is not wise to give it to them. If, however, they reach out to accept responsibility, give it to them. And give them the authority required to fulfil the job. True humility is the willingness to be known for who we are, including our weaknesses and strengths.
We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like. Jesus will have none of that. By depicting a Samaritan helping a Jew, Jesus could not have found a more forceful way to say that anyone at all in need – regardless of race, politics, class, and religion – is your neighbour. Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbour, and you must love your neighbour.
We give ourselves to prayer. We preach a Gospel that saves to the uttermost, and we witness to its power. We do not argue about worldliness; we witness. We do not discuss philosophy; we preach the Gospel. We do not speculate about the destiny of sinners; we pluck them as brands from the burning. We ask no man’s patronage. We beg no man’s money. We fear no man’s frown. Let no man join us who is afraid, and we want none but those who are saved, sanctified, and aflame.
Jesus will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” not “well said.”
God’s book is written for failures. It is full of folks who were foul-ups and flops but got a second chance. Perfect people? No. Perfect messes? You bet. Yet God used them all. A surprising and welcome discovery of the Bible is this: God uses failures.
Bible-based, Spirit-led social action is absolutely necessary in transformation process. Simply preaching without accompanying good works will not do it. Preaching will get people saved, but cities will not be transformed (much less nations), because the proclamation of the Gospel has to be validated by deeds that benefit society.
When Isaiah beheld God in His courts, he didn’t set up a hammock, he said, “Send me.”