Dirty Hands and Rug Burn: The Hard Call of Christ to Live For People

(photo courtesy: googleimages)

“I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.”- Acts 20:19
I was at a youth basketball game the other day. It is always fun to watch young kids learning how to work as a team and understand basic fundamentals of a sport.  The kids played with such excitement and energy running up and down the court. I was there to lead a halftime devotional time, but found myself wanting to watch what was happening on the court.
There was another dynamic I noticed on the court. Some kids were flying all over the court and getting into healthy “scuffles” in order to gain possession of the ball, then there were some kids who stayed back with timidity. I found it interesting, the difference in confidence and the influence those who were willing to get dinged up and a little rug burn had on the game as opposed to those who stood back.
That very dynamic brought me to think about the body of Christ (aka Church).
When Christ called His disciples, he led them to understand His purpose and His power. Then, He sent them out to do the very work He began. He didn’t ask them to see the work and chill out while He kept doing all the work. He called them to get their hands dirty and possibly suffer some rug burn.
Living life with people can get messy. We live with them through the hard times and the good times. 
Christ walked in the midst of those who were shunned and those who were honored. He lifted up those who had been beaten down and those who were left to die. He taught His disciples to do the same.
As we strive to be more Christ-like we need to be aware of the fact that as we move toward Christ-likeness, it isn’t merely being humble and loving people, but truly serving people where they are.
If we go out to find people where they are, in the midst of their struggle and pain, we will get dirty. We will get some bumps and bruises. There might even be some tears shed over loss or people turning from our words. This is how we know we truly care for those we are living life with!
The struggle for us is: Are we willing to dive all in? Are we willing to be flying in and getting marked up or are we going to stand back in timidity watching others do the hard work?
It is risky, but that’s what it means for us to be serving like Christ. Being Christ-like is a dangerous attribute to strive for, but it is worth it. As we strive for it; we need to be ready for the level of commitment it requires.
Following Christ is an all-in; diving on the floor; and fighting with all your might to get that ball back from the enemy. It is not for the timid. It will require teamwork and it will definitely demand for us to get dirty!
Let’s play!

QUESTION: Do you find yourself willing to serve wholeheartedly or timidly?

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