That is not an easy thing to do – shift your thinking. I was having an email conversation with someone this week. She told me she wanted to do more for God’s kingdom but she was afraid it would hurt their family life. Her husband has had to refrain her in the past from doing too much.
I shared that I agreed she could do more but she needed to shift her thinking.
As I was reading “For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty”, I was getting excited about opening up more businesses as an avenue to serve and engage the community and share Christ. Then one sentence shifted some of my thinking – “Yet another option is to help set people up in their own businesses and to become their customers.”
You see I could open up all these businesses and if God desired I would be successful and accomplish the goal of spreading the gospel but what if in addition to opening businesses I helped others do the same. I get to share Christ’s love by helping someone grow their dream and God willing be used to open their eyes to the gospel. Now instead of just one person engaging the community through their business, there are two. What if those two turned into four? This is no different than the idea of multiplying disciples but using business as the avenue. Now do not misunderstand, I realize that there are many Christians who run businesses and engage society through it now. What I am saying is that I did not see the opportunity that I could be used by God to help others open businesses.
God can shift our thinking in many directions. Another shift I got from the book came from the following quote.
Mennonite missionaries in the Philippines, for example, found that, despite their commitment to living simply, they had a moral obligation to hire servants, since failing to do so would have hurt the families in the community by not providing them the opportunity to earn the income they sorely needed. –For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty
You know why I pay someone to mow my lawn? Because I do not want to do the work myself (laziness). But what if I paid someone to do things as a moral obligation to help others. I could hire someone to clean my house (even though I am not too lazy to do that). This might mean I go without some luxury in my life to help this person who is willing to work but that is part of being one of the elect.
One thing that saddens me about this shift in thinking, I know people who have been doing this for a long time but I had not thought to apply it to my own life. How many more ways can my thinking be shifted to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ? How can your thinking be shifted?