As we near the end of Crazy Love, I have wondered about the emotional journey that Pastor Francis Chan has taken us on as we have gone through his book.
I watched his Chapter 10 video and I have read Chapter 10 and I sense an open ended and noncommittal recommendation on his part.
Why would this be?
Why would he chide us to act throughout his book and then get to the end and then back off?
Let’s consider some reasons:
Guilt I don’t think Pastor Chan wants us to feel guilty if we are not doing the Lord’s work every minute of every day. Some of us may be far below that level of “action” in our lives. He understands that God extends grace to us and even though we may be falling short in our devotion to God, God understands our weakness. He knows that we live in a very distracting world with all kinds of factors which can take us away from what really matters.
Burn-out Have you ever been around a person who is trying so hard that they just get too stressed out to be effective? They work and work and work and accomplish some things but they are never satisfied. They keep on working hard to make things right, striving to achieve a level that is above what the rest of us feel we have to do. Then fatigue sets in. They hit a “bump in the road” or maybe two bumps and things get harder. Then you hear that they have quit their work altogether. Pastor Chan knows that the concept of burn-out is very real and Christians who are striving to work for God can experience this.
Lack of support Some people who feel the need to work for God don’t get the support they need from their coworkers, friends and relatives. Some of the hardest criticism comes from people we are close to. When you know God has put a job before you and you know He wants you to do it, you can’t explain to others how you “know” this. Others will doubt your decisions. They will say things to make you question yourself. Sometimes a comment like “How do you know?” will do a lot of harm. People can make you feel like you are insane if they ask you to explain a “God thing.” Instead of encourage, loved ones can discourage. Instead of celebrating your new goal for your life and God’s ministry here on earth, they question and raise doubt. Lack of support can kill a person’s enthusiasm and Pastor Chan knows that.
It is Your Holy Spirit after all What do I mean by that? Francis Chan is a well-respected leader and too often, pastors are in a position to tell people exactly what to do. However, I sense he does not want to tell you what to do. He just wants you to be open to the Holy Spirit moving in you. It is not his job to command people; it is his job to ask you to respond to God’s commands. His Holy Spirit is unique to him, just as yours is to you. I have a pastor friend who is a problem solver. I guess some people want that. I suspect most people do not need a problem solver as much as a listener who can help them talk out their problems and come up with their own solutions. The best solution is one that is Holy Spirit directed.
Finding Fault Have you considered your activity level and how that matches up with what Pastor Chan has written? What if you think you are pretty devoted and you are spending a lot of time doing God’s work right now? What if you see others not devoting themselves to His work? What if you see lots of areas in your church where we are missing opportunities to serve? Should we grumble and criticize? The answer is no. God does not intend us to be prideful about our service to others. God does not intend us to compare what we are dong to what others are doing. In fact, I believe God would be very disappointed if we did that. He wants us to be humble as we do our Lord’s work. Too often we want the credit for something God is doing. That just distracts others from the work of our Lord and Savior.
So what is the purpose of Crazy Love?
Pastor Chan wants to “move the needle.”
Pastor Chan wants to “get us off our dime.”
Pastor Chan wants to get us “off the bubble.”
I could go on and on with the clichés but you get the point. He wants us to act. He wants us to do something with our lives. He feels Christians need to have one thing going for them in life.
We need to have a purpose.
And let’s be honest. He feels we should all have the same purpose…to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Why does he get noncommittal toward the end of Crazy Love? He wants us to open up to God, let God give us a purpose and he wants us to act.
Act with a Christian purpose.