Let’s just be truthful here - NO ONE likes to be inconvenienced because it goes against our plans, our comfort, our rituals, our day, our. our. our.
Doesn’t it? Yes - deep down, you and I are a very “stiff-necked” and stubborn people. We like things to be done when WE want them done. We like things to be done the WAY we want them done. We like things to be done on OUR TIME and according to OUR SCHEDULE.
Bottom line? you’re selfish. I’m selfish. It’s part of the sin-nature that’s in our heart and rears its ugly head when things don’t go our way. We are inconvenienced and then we get frustrated. And that leads to anger. And that leads to gossip (we like to call it “venting”). And that begins dividing the church while it grows a bitterness in your heart.
In the New Testament, Paul is VERY aware of this. He warns us to “take every thought captive” in 2 Corinthians 10:5 He’s been there and done that. He bought the shirt. And because of his experiences with church people, he knew just what they NEEDED to hear (and it didn’t always agree with what they WANTED to hear).
What does “taking our thoughts captive” look like? It looks like an internal recognition of frustration and an analysis of the source of that frustration.
Three questions to ask when frustration arises:
1. Is anyone in danger of being hurt (physically, emotionally, spiritually)?
2. Is this going to have a negative impact on what I’m trying to do for Jesus (live out my life in a way that others want to follow me to Jesus)?
3. Is this “anti-Scriptural” (i.e., does this go against what the Bible says to do)?
If the answers to the above questions are “no,” then roll with it and instead of allowing the frustration to grow, repent immediately to God and ask what He may be trying to teach you in this instance.
Is this easy to do? NO!!!
Welcome to the second word - sacrifice.
Just as we don’t like to be inconvenienced, we don’t like to make sacrifices that hurt. So we’re all clear, a sacrifice that doesn’t hurt isn’t a sacrifice. You can tweet that if you’d like.
TRUE sacrifice is giving up something you’d planned on or planned for for the good of another and for the hopes that God’s name will be glorified through your sacrifice.
Sacrifice can look like giving money. Sometimes it hurts to give.
Sacrifice can look like giving time. Your schedule WILL BE inconvenienced.
Sacrifice can look like laying down your desires / your traditions / your ideas in a form of submission to what God may be doing in someone else’s life.
Bottom line - sacrifice hurts.
A friend told me Sunday afternoon that “THE CHURCH is built on inconvenience and sacrifice.”
He was more correct than he may have been planning on. I had thanked he and his wife for doing more than was asked of them for Sunday’s Mission Meal, and he responded with that statement.
Church, you need to hear this too, and realize that yes, the church WILL BE BUILT… the church WILL GROW… based on YOUR sacrifice and inconvenience.
Let’s not forget the One who started this. The One who showed us JUST what inconvenience and sacrifice looks like. Jesus left HEAVEN. Stop and think about that. LEFT. HEAVEN. for us. Jesus came to Earth as a baby. JESUS!! GOD ALMIGHTY became a helpless infant, grew in stature and wisdom, experienced EVERYTHING we’ve experienced, and then did something most if not any of us will NEVER experience - gave His life in a BRUTAL way for you.
THAT, my friends, is inconvenience and sacrifice.
How dare we complain about the little things God asks us to do??