Do the Hard Things

The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”—Matthew 25:40

True Christianity looks much different from the sanitized pop-culture religion we have fabricated. It is hands-on and messy, unpredictable, colorless and borderless. It is unprejudiced and empathetic, merciful, loving, unrelenting and tireless.

It is the commitment of a young missionary to Ugandan orphans. It is the determination of a lifelong translators to complete the work God has entrusted to them. It is the perseverance of a pastor who disciples those born into the kingdom and then witnesses others receive their eternal rewards. It is the truth spoken in love by an accountability partner who desires greater things in your life for God’s glory.

We often choose to stick with what is comfortable and familiar, to minister to those who are like us and whose cultures we share. But Jesus didn’t model an easy way out. He ministered to the sick and the despised, the weak and the insignificant.

Imitate Him. Do the hard things.

Visit the sick and the elderly. Be unafraid to hold a hand of someone passing from this world to the next. Share the hope you have in Christ with someone who lacks hope and is facing a Christless eternity, or encourage a saint who has forgotten all but the Savior’s love. You may learn not only how to live but how to die.

Pour out your heart into an unlovable young woman and allow her to experience the transformational unconditional love she never knew existed and never believed she deserved. Perhaps you’ll begin to grasp His love for you.

Be an advocate for the oppressed and a voice for the voiceless. Offer strength to the weak and encouragement to the weary. You will see a glimpse of greater grace.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.—James 1:27

Share the hope of Christ with prisoners. Read stories to orphans. Serve meals to the homeless. Share the gospel in a trailer park. Give a sub and a gospel tract to that woman who panhandles outside your grocery store. You will see a leper restored by the touch the Jesus.

But be warned: Such work is exhausting, frustrating, heartbreaking, all-consuming and often thankless. You will be emptied and insulted, reviled and repelled, cursed and cast away. But occasionally you will see fruit—the captive set free, the loveless finally loved, the hand that clutched yours now clutching the Father of all eternity.

And the reward is great because He Himself is our reward. He is our motivation, He is our strength, He is our example. And He is enough.

Stretch yourself and do something hard. Then share your story as a comment here or on my Facebook page. Even if your efforts don’t change others, they will change you.

2 thoughts on “Do the Hard Things