Recently a movie came out called Evan Almighty that has a message that I think every Christ-follower should examine. In this movie Evan wants to make a difference. I will not tell you everything that happens in case you haven’t seen the movie, but the gist of it is that God appears to Evan and upsets his world with a mission – to build an ark. In the process Evan says that he doesn’t know where to begin. God tells Evan that he hears that a lot and then he asks Evan if he wants to know where to begin. God tells him that it begins with one random act of kindness at a time.
What a concept! You would think that this would be something natural for Christ-followers. But unfortunately that is not the perception of most "not yet believers." I recently played a video during one of my messages that showed a ‘man on the street’ segment. In this video people were asked what they thought when they heard the word Christian and Jesus. Most everyone had very favorable things to say about Jesus but when it came to the Christians it was totally different.
Christians were seen as judgmental, unkind, unloving, and rude.
That is very sad when you think about it. The word Christian came about because people were acting like Christ.
Well, I believe that we as Christ-followers are called to change this image of the Church. We should be making it easier for "not yet believers" to come to faith, not harder. I’m not talking about changing the message of faith, but the way we as Christ-followers live our lives.
What would happen if we took the advice of God in Evan Almighty? What would happen if we took it to heart to commit one random act of kindness a day, if we truly began to live as the people of God and not self-righteous Pharisees looking down on people? Well I tell you what would happen. Our city would begin to see change. Paul said it is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance.
Where do you and I begin? With one random act of kindness. Why not buy the coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble and let them know that God loves them - no stings attached. Why not help the single mom who is doing everything she can, but still needs some help with the kids or needs her oil changed. How about the person who cannot care for their lawn anymore? The list goes on and on.
These may not seem like spiritual things but they really are spiritual. You see, small things done with great love change the world.
If you would like to read more about this type of lifestyle, my friend Steve Sjogren has written a great book called Conspiracy of Kindness.
Also if you are tired of church as usual and want to be a part of a community of faith that is trying to live the Jesus lifestyle come visit Christ the Deliverer. We meet at St. John’s Academy at 1533 Wildwood Drive every Sunday at 10am. Also, you can learn more about this lifestyle at www.fr-joe.blogspot.com.