Sometimes I feel like I've become the worlds most cynical Christian. I can no longer just look at how things appear and automatically assume the amazing grace of God is upon it. And maybe that's just the curse of my personality (I tend to be more of a pessimist than an optimist about many things), but it sure seems that "working" in "ministry" has definitely played a factor in this mentality.
I remember the first medical brigade I was a part of here in Ecuador. Every night the whole team would gather together and share testimonies about the day and we would get a count of how many people gave their lives to Christ that day! I remember being so excited at the rising number of conversions and thinking how amazing it was that we were having such a huge impact on the Kingdom of God! Then I moved to that community three months after the fact and was confronted with the truth that many of those in our "numbers" didn't actually make a commitment to Christ, they just did what they thought was the polite thing to do, which was to tell us what we wanted to hear! And of those whose commitment was actually "genuine", we offered no follow up for them and thus, many just fell to the wayside like the seeds the birds come to eat off the stone path.
It's situations like this and many others that make me question, "What are we really doing?". I mean in so many ways the "outcome" of what we do as Christians is all for show, to point people to how great we are! We would never say it (let alone admit it), but we've turned "serving God" into a stepping stone of self-promotion and helping others into an opportunity to have someone tell us how great we are! But does that really help anyone? Does that really change anyone's lives?! Does it just do more harm than good?!? It all makes me wonder, have we completely missed the gospel?!?!
And, just to reign this rant back in and take the focus off the "Church" at large, when I think about my own life and my own ministry and the things I do in the name of "Christ", I really have to wonder, "What has been the real point?"! If I am doing something to make myself feel good or to promote myself or really for any other "self" reason, then I've lost focus and I have to go back to the drawing board. Anything built on the foundation of me will fail...and even if it were by some means to "succeed", we would all be screwed because of the eventual collapse of it all when the true motives of my heart and my sin were exposed!
So that brings me back to the question...."What is the point of all this?" or better yet, "Who is this all about?".... we've already established what happens when the answer is ME, but what about the truth of matter being that it's actually about God! If our lives and all that we do are about bringing glory to God and pointing people to Him, then doesn't that make a real difference?! When it's no longer about me looking good or getting to tell a bunch of people about what I did, but rather about God moving and testifying to that (without the message of self), isn't that when we will start to see the world change?!? I say it all the time, "I can't save anyone; All I can do, is point them to the one who can"! If my life really did that...not just in the theological sense, but in the practical, every day, moment to moment choices and activities", God would be able to allow His will to be done and His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven! And that's the point of it all right?!?!