After being challenged by our fearless leader to talk about some “real talk” Christian issues, I read this article that she sent us. It is found here.
I thought that it would be pretty cool to kind of parse through this article bit by bit, and the one that really stood out to me first was number 2 on that list, which referred to the title of this blog post.
Yes! The most expected answer in all of Christianity.
Worship Leaders and Pastors call for people to tell God YES during high powered worship sets and worship services.
People are asked to say YES to serving on various committees within the church.
People are asked to say YES to giving for various funds and special occasions.
But it begs the question: If Jesus didn’t always say YES, why are we?
First, a disclaimer:
I know that God’s answer is always YES concerning His promises.
I also know that saying YES to God is one of the most, if not THE most, impactful thing that a person can ever do.
I also know that saying YES to serving is a way of growing collectively with a church, as well as individually. You discover a place within the community.
I also, really know that saying YES to giving, when able, is a mark of a mature Christian who does not do so out of obligation, but with a joyful heart.
YET, when we are saying YES to any of the above things because we feel pressured, well, YES has become an idol. When we are saying YES because we want to be accepted, then YES has become an idol. When we say YES to giving because we don’t want to be the only person in our row who is not moving to the front, well, that is unhealthy.
We teach our children to say no to peer pressure and drugs. We tell them to think for themselves when other people are doing things that might not be the best thing for them. But when do we apply that same kind of logic to our interactions at a church? The only pressure we should ever feel in Christ is to love others, and even using the word “pressure” feels wrong here.
Christ will NEVER pressure us for anything. Will He lay things on our hearts? YES. Will He give us a burden for someone or something? YES. But all of these things are for opportunities to show His love in this world. Not to be accepted by men. Not to achieve a special designation in a church. Not to earn a Pastor’s love and admiration. And definitely not to bestow a special blessing on you for giving your light bill money into the benevolence offering. Just STAAAHHHP!
And where serving is involved, so many people say yes to everything, yet even Jesus did not always go where people wanted him to go. He did not always do what people wanted Him to do. He only ever did what he felt His Father impressing upon his heart. So yes, serve your church. Serve the Body. But don’t think that you can impact every area of the Kingdom by yourself. You’re not built that way. None of us are. Also, don’t let that service ever become a god to you. Learn how to say NO sometimes, because as important as it is to help your church, or participate in outreaches, it is even more important that our hearts are right with God while we ware doing those things. As a Pastor who has been told NO numerous times when asking people to volunteer with kids’ ministry, it is hard to hear, but also good to hear. I can respect NO. I can’t respect a YES that has no heart, or commitment, behind it. Do I believe that more people should volunteer?
Wholeheartedly YES. We can’t have 20% of a congregation doing 80 percent of the work. That is a failing equation.
But I also don’t believe in working anyone to the bone. There’s enough work for all of us to get involved. Once we have felt the love of Jesus and have known His grace, YES is a natural, healthy outcome in any life.
Here’s a simple test to see if you’re serving the god of YES:
Whenever the wording becomes “I HAVE TO” rather than “I GET TO” to any of the aforementioned things…
It’s time to step back, reconsider, take stock, and start again.
Be blessed, fam!