Ever been dared to do something challenging? Maybe it even included the classic “double-dog-dare” to increase the pressure. I have, and still retain the scars, detention history, etc. to prove it (as a matter-of-fact, I recently jumped into a cold swimming pool on a 40 degree day for the fun of a “Polar Plunge Challenge”). This week (while studying the Hebrews’ wilderness journey), I’ve been thinking of a different kind of dare, a “double-dog dare” if you will. It doesn’t involve cold water, self-inflicted-injuries or embarrassment. It’s just a simple question, but I’ll warn you up front; it’s tough. Ready? Here it is:
“What would your church look like if every other member was just like you?”
See what I mean? The reason I know it’s a tough question is because I’ve been wrestling with it for a couple of weeks myself (and I still don’t like the answer). It all started while considering the Jews traveling through the wilderness. They were so blessed and taken care of by God, but they still complained and expected more. Paul mentions them in 1 Corinthians 10 as examples for us. Not to make us feel better as we verbally beat up on them during Bible study, but because we’re so much like them (at least I see myself in them). The pride in me wants to think otherwise, but the Holy Spirit reminds me to prayerfully ponder it a little more. Truth is, without Christ, I wouldn’t have any hope of being different than them, but thankfully He empowers us to grow, mature and actually be different. So, if you’re willing to linger on the question for a little while, consider these additional pieces with it.
“What would our church look like, if every other member was just like me…
…in conversation about others?”
Perhaps at this point you could use a spiritual bandage or two. If so, remember, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Rom. 8:1) and “We can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy…” (Heb. 4:16), but we need to act on those powerful truths. I encourage you to honestly ask this question in personal time with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit “…guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). As a matter-of-fact…I double-dog dare you (in love of course)!