How can we say we don’t live in a crazy world? How can we look around us and think that there is no crisis facing humanity? When some of the world’s most lucrative businesses continue to be the trafficking of drugs, weapons and humans, how can we say that we are advancing as a race?
Our response is typically fear. We get scared and take a protectionist stance. There is no mystery in this. When there is danger, your family comes first.
But as Christians, what do these troublesome times call for? It seems like, more and more, many circles call for a radical Christianity.
Unfortunately, the term “radical” has become flimsy and overused – and the main point gets lost in the hype and slogans. Christianity requires no marketing. It relies only on the Spirit.
Some believe radical means standing on a park bench and preaching God’s word. If the Spirit has led you to this, then you should obey. But it is not radical.
Some believe radical means holding prayer marathons and invoking the hand of God to descend from heaven to set things straight. If the Lord answers these prayers, then his will be done. But this is not radical.
Some believe that radical Christians give up all their worldly possessions and live on providence alone. They go to the farthest reaches of the earth to spread God’s word to every man, woman and child possible. They might even risk or give their lives for this mission. This is a response to a higher calling, but it is not radical.
Some believe that being radical is going out and serving the poorest of the poor – helping the outcasts and the lepers. This is noble, just and part of our responsibility, but it is not radical.
All these things can be ways in which God uses us, but they can also become idols where we secretly puff out our chests in pride for being good servants of the Lord.
The most radical thing a follower of Jesus can do is imitate and appeal to God’s greatest act of love.
Ask to be forgiven. Repent.
Have you asked God to forgive you? Have you recognized the sin that is destroying you? Have you asked God to pour his mercy out upon you? Have you repented?
This is radical.
Who has wronged you? Who has harmed you? Who annoys you? Which politician makes you red with rage? Do I rejoice when I see those I disagree with shamed… or do I ask God to give me a merciful heart?
Forgive them. Forgive them all as Christ did. Ask God to forgive them.
To forgive is to love. All other Christian activity is meaningless if we do not continuously strive to complete this most basic and essential task.
This is radical. It requires the most tremendous effort fulfilled only by God’s Spirit. When we forgive, we are truly Christ-like.
Go. Be a radical Christian. Forgive your parents, your brothers and sisters. Forgive your children. Forgive your enemies. Ask them to forgive you. Here you will see God’s great glory working upon you.
From this seed, all other acts of mercy and service receive their divine spark. From this love, your hungry soul receives life.