Monday, November 26, 2012

I got this

Several months ago I was talking with a friend who would soon be entering a period of fundraising. As we talked, I got the sense that he had a number of misconceptions about fundraising (including some of the ones I listed in an earlier post.) What concerned me most was that after I'd tried clearing up those misconceptions and explaining how difficult fundraising can be, he replied:
"Fundraising won't be a problem. I got this."
While I appreciate his zeal, I fear that he lacks knowledge (Pr 19:2). It's a dangerous ignorance, too, for the knowledge he lacks is a lack of knowledge of the gospel.

Consider the words of Jesus:
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:31-32 ESV)
These words are wonderful and life-giving to those who recognize themselves as the sick in need of a doctor. Like a good doctor, Jesus offers not only the solution to their sin-induced sickness (His cross) but the means to avoid future sickness (repentance.) That's the gospel! Weak, sick and helpless people are made strong, healthy and helpful through the completely work of Christ.

However, these words also offer a great warning: those who are not sick do not need Jesus. Our theology alarm should go off at that point. Don't the Scriptures say that we're all desperately sick and in need of a Savior (Jer 17:9, Rom 3:10-18)? Yes, and so aren't we all sick and all in need of Jesus? Yes and yes!

Jesus isn't trying to say that there are some righteous people who needn't pay attention to Him; rather, He's saying that there are some people who think themselves righteous and therefore don't go to see the doctor as they should. (These words of Jesus are spoken to a group of Pharisees that have precisely this problem.)

So let's go back to my friend's lack of knowledge. While I wouldn't say that he thinks of Himself as truly righteous, I do believe that he doesn't see his need for a doctor. And if you go long enough without seeing the doctor, you fail to recognize just how sick you really are.

Fundraising is hard. It takes time. It breaks down our self-reliance. It causes us to admit our sickness and run to the great Doctor. In other words, fundraising will be a problem if you think, "I got this."

Thankfully, I don't need to worry about my friend. I tried to graciously share my concerns. I'm also praying for him. But most of all, my hope and expectation is that God will use his upcoming fundraising to graciously and patiently teach him to run to the Doctor. Often.

Let's also be careful not to judge my friend; I'm no stranger to his line of thinking and my guess is that you aren't either. But let's humbly choose to admit our weaknesses and run to Him.

If we don't, we can rest assured that our heavenly Father will lovingly teach us the same valuable lesson:

You don't got this.