The title says it all, doesn’t it? We live in an interesting society. There’s a bunch of us who leave the trash on the floor because there’s someone hired to pick it up. We don’t clean up the spill because it’s someone’s job. Someone tells us they’re doing something big but we don’t help people unless they ask specifically…for that help with that one thing. We see one person doing all the work and let them do it because they’re the ones that get paid to do it. It doesn’t matter if it looks difficult or not because it’s not our job.
Responsibility seems lost. We take a lack of initiative because we might miss out on the fun, or because it means we’ll have to work. We don’t just do this when it comes to someone leaving a styrofoam cup on the counter instead of throwing it away. We actually treat real life people this way too. It’s their problem. It’s their family. It’s not my issue. ….lazy Christianity.
Initiative is just too big of a word for us to learn anymore. Or so it seems. We take initiative when it’s our job to, or if there’s some benefit for us (like a raise). And here comes the rant: Never mind the fact that Jesus saw us in our weakness or that we’re completely pitiful individuals absorbed in our narcissistic ways and He still died on the cross for our sins. (Do I sound fed up?) Please understand, I’m saying all this to myself as well.
There’s an account in the gospel that keeps screaming at me every time I witness this or behave this way. Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Let me say that again, JESUS WASHED HIS DISCIPLES FEET. No one else in the room would do it. Yet He, the Creator of the universe, Healer of the sick, Raiser of the dead, Giver of life, Sacrifice for sins, Son of God Himself, took up a wash basin and washed the most dusty, dirty stinky feet before introducing a meal of remembrance, a new covenant that represents His death that was about to occur in a few hours. He left all the comfort of heaven because He believed that His power and equality wasn’t something to hold on to so tightly, or that He was so far above even the lowest job. He took the lowest job in the house. He cleaned feet.
Let me ask you something…who’s feet have you washed lately? This attitude is the same thing that we’re supposed to have. Not a “someone is getting paid to do this” attitude, as if we’re doing them a favor by giving them a job to do. No, our responsibility as a believer in God to TAKE the initiative to serve even in the lowest job.
And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.
John 13:14 (NLT)
Let’s hit home a little bit, shall we? Here’s some false attitudes of Christianity that even I’m guilty of. (still preaching to myself here)
- Offering was high last week, I don’t need to give this week.
- I know there’s a need in the children’s ministry, but I’m not gifted with kids. It’s not my spiritual gift.
- The church just isn’t spiritual enough for me.
- Sometimes you just need a break from church. I don’t need to go.
- I’m tired. I’ll just skip this once….okay twice. I’m busy. They understand.
- My kids are a handful. I just need a break…from everything.
- I just don’t love them anymore.
Do you know that there’s an answer for these? Let me proclaim the verses above, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. He might not have been qualified. He could have been tired from the long day. He could have been sick of listening to these guys get it wrong over and over again (especially since just before He did this they were arguing about who was the greatest among them). But He still washed their feet. Maybe if we’re feeling this way, we need to take up the basin and wash someone’s feet…serve them or get involved in serving.
The point becomes this: we’re just not that interested in becoming more like Him because of the inconvenience to serve. We’d rather have fun. And serving isn’t all that fun sometimes. Sometimes it’s work.
Do we remember the people who’ve caused us harm? It sucks. Do we remember the people who didn’t give up on us even in our darkest moments? Of course! Which do we appreciate the most? It’s obvious. Well, why don’t we become that person who doesn’t give up on others instead of the person we don’t like to think about? Why don’t we behave more like the Jesus we confess to follow? (mic drop)
Seriously though, this may be somewhat comical in a few ways, but our hope is found in the greatest Servant known to man. Maybe we (I) should start behaving like Him in more areas than just the ones that are easy. Discipleship requires a discipline that can hurt sometimes. But it’s necessary if He is who I claim to follow. I get up at 4:45 am to go to the gym…I see the cup on the ground so I pick it up and throw it away. I pay $9 to go see a movie in a theater and $4 for a coffee from a cafe…I can give to further the ministry of the gospel, someone’s salvation as a higher priority. I remember someone taking me aside and teaching me how to live in a better way, and it meant so much to me that I remember their name and even where we met up on a regular basis…I can become that person for someone else, a youth needing guidance or a single mom or dad that needs help with their kids. My family is difficult sometimes, but I still come home to them every day…I know that God’s family can be messy sometimes, but maybe I can contribute to help them grow in God too; can’t imagine life without them either. ….let’s take the initiative to serve this time.