Friday, November 25, 2016

A Random Conversation

This afternoon I had a conversation with a man who, after a great deal of life experience, has come to the intellectual conclusion that people are fundamentally savage. While some individuals can rise above their base instincts through creative thought, society itself will always be fundamentally flawed - filled with wars, aggression, and evil. It is simply the nature of man, and cannot be changed.

My immediate response was to state my belief that we can change. Almost as soon as the words left my mouth, however, I realized that he was absolutely right – we can’t change. Selfish, fear-driven, self-preserving and aggressive instincts are indeed hardwired into each and every person. It isn’t something that can be bred out of us, like an unwanted genetic trait. It’s just human nature. Our sinful human nature.

My conversation with this gentleman ended before I had a chance to fully collect my thoughts together. However, as I reflected upon this exchange, a new wave of appreciation swept over me for the amazing gift that Jesus died to give us – a new nature. A nature based in love, generosity, and self-sacrifice. A nature that abhors violence and evil, and works to bring peace.

But along with this freshly kindled gratitude came a prick in my conscience. Every day, people question how there can be a loving God if there is so much evil and violence in the world. Why would He allow wars, kidnappings, murders, rapes, and a host of other horrors to occur? For those who follow Christ, we have an answer – He doesn’t. Jesus paid the ultimate price to free us from bondage to our sinful nature and give us the choice to embrace His nature instead (Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10, Gal. 5:22-23). But that’s just it. It’s a choice. One that many people have rejected and others are unaware that they have at all.

What am I, as a follower of Christ, doing to advertise this hope that I have? This hope of a better world, filled with people who have chosen to surrender their lives to Christ and embrace His nature? (Some might call this better world Heaven). Am I living intentionally as a lighthouse, displaying the love of Christ through my every word and action? How much of this new nature am I displaying in my daily life, around my family, friends, coworkers, and random strangers that I converse with?

Today, I find myself challenged afresh to not simply dream of a world without evil, violence, and suffering, but to create it. As an ambassador of Christ, I have the privilege, the authority, and indeed the duty to work for the advancement of the Kingdom and to pray for God’s will to be accomplished “on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10, NLT). To spread the good news that we no longer have to live as slaves to an evil nature and the death it brings. I have been set free, and it is my privilege to declare freedom to those who still walk in chains.

Friend, I hope that today you feel a stirring in your heart, as I have, to walk more intentionally than ever as an ambassador of Christ in this world. If you have been set free, I hope that you find renewed desire to see others step into freedom. It is a task that carries a great deal of responsibility, but it also comes with high honor and incredible joy. I choose today to embrace this calling, and my prayer today is that your heart would stir with desire to embrace it as well.

Until next time,

From Gray to Grace

No comments:

Post a Comment