Thursday, September 13, 2012

Should One be Nice or Dangerous?

Does it suffice as a Christian to be nice, or should one also be dangerous?  Three sentences in Bill Johnson's "When Heaven Invades Earth" say much:
Johnson wrote, "I’m not impressed with anyone’s life unless they have integrity. But I’m not happy with their life until they are dangerous.  As much as I have the ability to do so, I’ll not let those around me get away with just being nice people!"
I think in retrospect that I have tried most of my life to be nice.  There's kind of pleasant warm, fuzzy Christian-ness about being nice.   If nice means being a man of integrity, faithful, friendly, polite and genuine, I want to be those things in increasing measure.  And I want to be those things most of the time.

But Jesus was not always nice.  When I think about the chaotic scene in the temple with tables being turned over, coins hitting the stone floor, panicked cattle lowing, men yelling, and a passionate young man wielding a whip made of cords, "nice" would not be the adjective that would spring immediately to mind.  "Dangerous", yes; but not, "nice."

Jesus told the disciples,  preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.   In other words, preach the kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead,  and destroy the work of the devil.  That's our mission, too.

"Nice" is one component of preaching the kingdom of heaven, and for healing the sick and raising the dead, but as for destroying the works of the devil: that is where "dangerous" enters.

Dangerous builds an orphanage by faith in Tanzania to care for kids and teach them that as Christ followers, they are royalty in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Dangerous publishes and distributes Gospel literature in India, South America, and Russia.  Dangerous comes alongside a warring husband and wife and helps them find reconciliation in Christ.  Dangerous builds a ministry training city and local leaders.  Dangerous builds a business employing people and serving the city.  Dangerous brings uncompromising Godly principles and selfless love into the workplace.

Yes - I want to be nice.  But what I really want to be is really, really dangerous.

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