By Theresa Huculak, IGSL Faculty
Acting like human beings. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing? Is it something that we should strive for or not? A few years ago, James and I attended a conference in Canada where the speaker talked with us about the things that break our hearts. He asked, “What’s the thing that breaks your heart?” And he used the story of Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, who is famous for the quotation, “Let my heart be broken for the things that break the heart of God!”
And then he asked us, “What breaks your heart?” The thing that came to my mind was, “It breaks my heart that there are still so many people in our world who live and die without ever hearing the gospel even once.” Our good friend Judie who was in the same discussion group with us after the message said, “Here’s what I can’t stand: Christians living ordinary lives!” And she was obviously very distressed and upset as she said it. I’ve never forgotten the pain as she talked about Christians living ordinary lives.
I’ve been part of IGSL for 31 years. The first three years as a student and the next 28 as a faculty. I’ve seen a lot of students and faculty come and go. I’ve seen a lot of relationships. I know a lot of stories. Most of our graduates have good memories of their time here, but some of them don’t. Some have been hurt and disappointed. And when students get hurt, it’s not because of academics nor ministry. It’s usually because of people in our community, us. It’s because of Christians living ordinary lives, acting like ordinary human beings. Sometimes we may find it impossible to forgive someone, to be patient with someone, and we say, “After all, I am only human. What did you expect?”
Christians are not merely human beings. Do you remember when Jesus talked about loving our enemies in Matthew 5? He said, “ If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.” Anyone can love people who love them, but Jesus expects more from us. He’s expecting us to live supernatural lives.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul said, “for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” He said that the evidence of this were jealousy and quarreling that he saw among them. They look spiritual whenever they are at chapel, but when at home they’re different. They have access to superpowers, but they weren’t using them. These sins are typical for ordinary human beings who don’t have access to superpowers like we do. But these are also the sins of our community.
Do you know why these sins are severe? Because they destroy love in the community. And love is supposed to be our best weapon in spreading the gospel. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) Pray that you can use your super powers to change the IGSL family. Pray that you can really love. And the result would be that we could turn the world upside down.
Remember my good friend Judie? She said that the thing that is truly heartbreaking is Christians living ordinary lives, and I believe that she was right. I want to challenge you to remove the words, “We are only human” from your vocabulary. You are not only human. You have access to superpowers. Jesus died for you, and He lives inside your heart today so that you can love a supernatural life.