Where should we go?
I have been reflecting on a press release that Reimagine put out last week with The Barna Group which indicated that by 5:1 Christians thought that the poor, distressed and victims were more deserving of mercy than sinners and law breakers. While we have a gospel of grace that is a “free gift,” we clearly exercise bias in who gets the gift!
In Luke 5:31, Jesus said “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The thing that strikes me about this is the difference between someone who has “sick” circumstances versus someone who has a sick soul resulting in sin and law breaking. People who are victims of natural disasters and systemic injustice are clearly deserving of our mercy. The needs of these victims are great but aren’t the needs of the sick sinners that Jesus is calling to repentance just as great?
I have a friend who goes every year to remote lakes in Canada. He always has great stories to tell and pictures of really large fish. Think of difficult, messy and costly outreaches to prisoners, and perhaps those who have sinned against you; could these situations be like my friend’s remote fishing locations? The data clearly shows that we prefer “righteous” victims over unrighteous sinners…by a 5:1 ratio!
We all need to think about this the next time God is calling is to go fishing. Are we willing to go to those hard to reach fishing holes? Oftentimes, these are hard to reach because we may have grudges or have hidden unforgiveness in our hearts. You may be surprised that fishing with Jesus is the most fruitful when we go to those challenging places just like my friend!