Last night I participated in a black-tie fundraiser for a venture-capital-modeled charity. Their fundamental model centers on using funding and expertise to create viable, sustainable, and life affirming jobs. It has and continues to be an unfolding approach that confuses the cynics. The conundrum starts because the organization is unashamedly Christian based. There is no attempt to hide, diffuse, or confuse the facts from anyone who is willing to listen. At the same time there is a clear statement with a verifiable track record that the organization will and does work with people, businesses, and organizations of all faith, and that there is a clear guiding principle that frame every action and activity.
The principle is simple: the organization intends to bring healing to those in need. This includes physical, mental, and spiritual healing that fits within a universal model of compassion, mercy, and love.
Watching those experiencing this approach was fascinating. The emotions ranged from surprise bordering on shock through disbelief and onto enthusiastic applause. It is clear that the world is not used to Christians living out God’s values for the sake of God’s values. I wanted to stand on the table and shout, “This is the heart of the God I know” when people got the point. Yet once outside of the room the doubts about God’s followers’ motives was affirmed, confirmed, and accepted as a rationale norm.
The argument isn’t new. Even in Jesus day the critics questioned his motives. His response then is the same as the charity and my response is today.
“But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I'm speaking to you this way so that you will be saved.” (John 5.34)
Waking up I wonder about today and tomorrow. Will others understand my motive? Or will they see something centered on self? What is my real agenda? My actions and activities, yours’ too, will tell the story. It would be nice to think everything is set but the story is still unfolding. The ending is ultimately our choice.