November 02, 2010

Radical Response - Chapter 7

For the past 7 weeks Marla has been hosting the read-a-long of David Platt's book Radical.  I was excited to join along.  I've already read the book in its entirety, thanks to my pastor mentioning it in a sermon several months ago.  Its definitely the kind of book you have to read slowly, chapter by chapter, to take in the full intent.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to actually participate in the weekly discussions.  I could give you a list of excuses, but it comes down to the fact that everyone has time for what they want to have time for.  Its just a matter of priorities and what you value most.

Sad that something this life changing wasn't high on my list.

After my first reading of the book I was prompted to want to do more.  Jay and I have been very blessed.  All of this saving and frugal living isn't just so one day we can be millionaires.  While that day will be nice, that status is partly desired for the impact we could have in others' lives.

My immediate reaction to the book was to play the "spiritual mismatch" card.  Not a believer himself, Jay would never agree to giving until it hurts when it comes to Christian organizations.

I immediately caught myself.  How would I know without asking?  What if I was using his unbelief as a crutch for myself, keeping me safely in my comfort zone?  I prayed that God would show me my out.

As always, He stepped up to the plate.  That week I felt prompted to "pay it forward" and pay for the person in line behind me at the drive-thru.  Of course I couldn't think of a phrase that didn't sound fake or preachy, so when the cashier asked me why he should tell them I did it I said "just because".

This chapter addresses one of Jay's big hangups with the gospel. 

The same week I read this, a missionary spoke at church.  He and his family commit to a single people group, travel there, and immerse themselves in the culture.  Its only then can they begin to build a Bible translation in their native tongue.  Their newest location doesn't even have a written alphabet.  No wonder it takes 15 years to provide a translation!

I brought a brochure home to Jay and asked him how he felt about donating.  I was shocked when he said he'd like to, especially since it addresses his "but what about the people who don't know" question.  When he asked me how much I wanted to give, I told him I wasn't sure.

He then proceeded to mention an amount over twice what I was thinking.  Without a moment to waver, I said "yes" to that amount and wrote out the check. 

I was humbled a few weeks later to receive a thank you card from the couple.  Her wording (well I assume it was her - do men ever write those?) floored me.  "sacrificial gift" 

Only it wasn't.  That gift, although substantial, wasn't sacrificial for us at all.  Have you heard the song with the line "Put a twenty in the plate but I never give till it hurts?"  While this was more than $20, it certainly didn't hurt us to give.

As I drove home this weekend, from friends who are unbelievers, I cried.  Because I truly don't know how to be a light for Jesus.  My life is different because of Him, but I don't know that any non-Christian types could see that.  My friends certainly don't.

While I truly believe those without Christ won't be with me in heaven, I find myself praying for their salvation far too little. 

I'm not down on my knees every night praying for my husband.  Begging God to do something - anything - to change his mind. 

I'm not being the "deeds not words" kind of wife I should be. 

I don't live - and give - like I believe it.

Lord forgive me.


  1. What timing! My sister and I were talking about this very thing today. We both admitted to being too hardened and not feeling the urgency to tell unbelievers. We need to pray for softer hearts, that hurt for the things that hurt God.

  2. Girl, you are not alone. Even as someone whose husband was a "professional Christian" (ie minister), I don't speak or pray enough. We do need to pray for softer hearts, as Mari said.

  3. I'm really, really glad you shared this, Brooke. Thank you. Praying for you and Jay.

  4. God uses different people in different ways. Just cuz you don't "preach" every day to people about Christ doesn't mean people can't TELL you are a christian. You are a beautiful woman...both inside and out, because of who lives in you!! And don't worry people do know it!

  5. You'd be surprised how much your everyday life IS a living example. No one is perfect and I think all of us feel like we could be doing a much better job than what we are doing. But that's where God comes in. It's about HIM not US. He's the one orchestrating everything and can use anything and everything. You care enough to write about it and think about, so it shows that your heart is in the right place.
    Keep doing what you're doing girl!

  6. I think that you are very much a light for what you believe in. And I think that if you became complacent about it, you might not be as strong a light, you know? So maybe the fact that you ARE concerned and praying about it IS part of the reason that you're so successful at it. Make sense? Just an outsider's perspective, for what it's worth!

  7. This was a hard chapter! I also do not know how to be a light and whether I am at all to unbelieving friends and family. But I take comfort in the truth that when we are weak, He is strong. And if we allow Him to use us, He will!

  8. "My life is different because of Him, but I don't know that any non-Christian types could see that. My friends certainly don't."

    You are definitely not alone. This is something that I struggle with daily. I'm supposed to be the salt of the earth. "Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a bowl. They put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others."

    But you have so much self-awareness! The fact that it breaks your heart has meaning. It's clear God is working in you and through you! There is no telling how many seeds you've planted.

  9. Brooke,
    Your comment on my blog led me over here, because I knew there must be more to the story behind what you said. And sure enough. I can really see that your heart is broken. It's so good that you shared so openly here about where you are. It's unimaginable to me what you are going through. But God has you there for His great purpose. Be encouraged!! We all have our struggles. Here I am feeling sorry for myself because I'm surrounded by believers and don't know how to branch out and be with people who aren't!! We're in two different "worlds," but we serve the same God. May His mercies cover you in a profound way as you live out your life for His glory. I will be praying for you and Jay.

  10. Our church is going to read Radical starting January. I can't wait.

    I'm praying for Jay as well, and, when he turns his life to Christ, he'll be so thankful that he has a wife as committed to her faith as you. =)

  11. I just received this book in the mail YESTERDAY on the recommendation of another internet friend. Now I really want to move it to the top of the "to read" stack.

    I can empathize with a lot of what you said, and I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers (and I mean it when I say that...that's something I've been convicted about, saying "I'll pray for you" and not seriously doing it!)

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  13. Oh brooke. i think just knowing you want to be a light is the best step. Thank you for giving and caring. You are a good example for me.

  14. I've thought about that a lot too. We actually even discussed it some in small groups last night. Sometimes I feel that we give our tithe and above how we can and also that we don't live with abundant material focus as enough. But if it doesn't feel sacrificial, could we do more? Then again, I think that knowing how much God has given us makes us always question and desire to do more.

  15. I am not thankful that you are having problems in this area, but I am thankful that you shared so I know I am not alone. Thank you. Sometimes a sacrificial gift isn't necessarily money, but admitting the truth about yourself even when you don't like it.


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