Thursday, January 10, 2013

One-sided

You just finished nursing a tall latte because your contact never showed up for the appointment. As you stare at the empty cup, you also realize that not one of your supporters replied to last month's prayer update. You tried to redeem the evening earlier by making calls, but only ended up leaving another round of voicemails.  It feels like you poured yourself into your work and other people, but no one seems to care.

Fundraising often seems one-sided.

Sometimes we feel guilty for having "selfish" thoughts like that. We try to tell ourselves (and others) that we're just having a bad night. Lots of people care - really! They're just... busy... or perhaps they just forgot to respond... to all twelve voicemails... or maybe...

Maybe fundraising is often one-sided!

That's actually not a wrong thought - just an incomplete one. Consider what Paul tells us in Romans:
As it is written:
"None is righteous, no, not one;
        no one understands;
        no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
        no one does good,
        not even one." (Romans 3:10-12 ESV)
The truth is that our fundraising is often one-sided... just like the gospel. We try again and again to get the attention of our contacts, eagerly seeking to share the amazing work God is doing and giving them an opportunity to partner with us for His glory and their joy. Is this any different from how the Lord pursues us? He tries again and again to get the attention of His people, eagerly seeking to share the amazing work He is doing and giving them an opportunity to partner with Him for His glory and their joy.

How well do we respond?

Before Christ saved us, our hearts were completely unresponsive to God's efforts to reach us (see Romans 3:10-12 above.) Now that we know Him and have dedicated our lives to Him, we generally don't respond all that much better.

Yet in the midst of our rebellion, how does God treat us? "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 ESV)  And again, "He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32 ESV) Or as James puts it so plainly, "He gives more grace." (James 4:6 ESV)

Let's therefore choose not to wallow in self-pity over our empty coffee cups. Instead, let's greatly rejoice that God knowingly entered into a one-sided, grace-based relationship with us... so that we could knowingly enter into a one-sided, grace-based relationship with others.