Jamie Smith (Desiring The Kingdom) said using “Christian worldview” to mean a set of implicit ideas actually limits us. “It reduces Christian faith primarily to a set of ideas, principles, claims, and propositions that are known and believed. The goal of all this is “correct thinking.” Smith goes on, “What if that is actually only a small slice of who we are? And what if it’s not even the most important part?”
“Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting right ideas, doctrines and beliefs into your head in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it’s a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly—who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the primacy of that love.” Smith says we are missing the mark in Christian education when we aim at the head and miss the real targets: our heart, our loves, and our desires. Christian formation needs to be a pedagogy of desire.”
I didn’t grow up in a Bible-reading church, so I’ve always felt behind in my knowledge of Scripture. Scripture reading is still very important, but it wasn’t until the past four years that I started living my life in a different way. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who live their lives as Christ-imitators, freely sharing their thoughts and feelings with me when faced with difficult situations. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my mentors about acting out of Christ’s love:
The World: “You should never lend money to friends or family without a signed contract outlining the payback terms. You’ll end up being enemies.”
My Mentor’s Response: “But it’s not a loan, it’s a gift. God has blessed me with incredible riches; it is up to me to be a good steward and share these riches when God asks me to.”
The World: “I can’t believe he was cheating on his wife. She has a right to divorce him!”
My Mentor’s Response: “Sounds like they need our prayers and friendship to help repair their marriage. Let’s pray for them now.”
The World: “I work in healthcare, but I never stop at an accident. The injured person might have an infectious disease or sue me.”
My Mentor’s Response: “God has blessed me with an incredible skill of being a Nurse; I need to honor Him by using that gift whenever I have the opportunity.”
It’s obvious to me that THE WORLD teaches “It’s ALL ABOUT ME.”
My mentors have taught me “It’s ALL ABOUT MY NEIGHBOR.”
I want to be the “kind of person who loves rightly—who loves God and my neighbor and is oriented to the world by the primacy of that love.” My mentors are important in helping me to understand how to act like a Christ-imitator instead of just talking about it.
I pray that you have people in your life who are willing to share their lives with you, showing you how to act from God’s love. Your life can be a mentor to others, too.
Blessings, my friend,