Five Ways to Experience Restoration, Healing and Hope in a Broken World
Week 2 in a Lenten Series for Stewards and Steward Leaders
This is our second week looking at how we as stewards live and thrive in the unprecedented times in which we live. My premise is that we are experiencing a level of cultural disintegration and moral chaos the likes of which we have never seen, and that the collateral damage of our times is seen in at least three ways; brokenness, woundedness and despair.
In response, we are using this season of Lent to reflect on five habits we fall into and our need to repent of each. From this repentance we pray we can find restoration from our brokenness, healing from our woundedness, and hope in place of despair.
Last week we considered what it means to be kingdom builders and kingdom keepers. In this second week, I want to look at our penchant for self-reliance. We live and work in a culture that venerates the self-confident and worships at the altar of the cult of personality. If there is music playing at the entrance to hell it will be the silky voice of Frank Sinatra singing, ‘I Did it My Way’. Our society is moving toward more absurd levels of self-centeredness at breakneck speed. And it is easy for us as the body of Christ to get caught up in it.
The fruit of our misplaced confidence is a relentless dissatisfaction and discontentment with life, and a futile pursuit to find some sort of significance in it all. The pursuit of significance is the fool’s errand for those whose view of life’s meaning does not extend beyond their own resume of achievements. Those engaged in such a pursuit are the walking wounded of our culture, and they inevitably wound those around them.
In this milieu, the ideas of surrender, obedience and dependence are anathema; as followers of Jesus, they are our lifeblood. So, on this Lenten journey we must reflect carefully on our own tendencies to rely more on our own abilities, ideas, expertise, wisdom and talents than on God’s direction and provision.
Where are you, today, acting out of you own strength and moving ahead in your own wisdom? Where have you lost touch with God’s guidance and quit trusting solely in His provision?
We must repent of our self-centered reliance and our loss of intimacy with God that brings about a misplaced confidence. We must acknowledge where we, too, are trying to do life ‘our way’. This repentance will produce in us a return to a posture of surrender and trust. We must pray for God-reliance to be our passion and absolute obedience to be the foundation from which we live and lead.
This restoration from the brokenness of self-reliance will in turn bring healing to our woundedness that results from our striving for significance. This healing will help us move from a thirst for significance to the joy of surrender. It’s only through complete surrender of our lives to Christ that we break free from the sordid need to be significant and embrace the free and joyful life of the faithful steward. And finally, when faithfulness and not significance is our passionate pursuit our hope is restored, because we know that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.
Imagine the impact followers of Jesus would have in this day and on this culture if every one of us bore witness to the God-reliant life as faithful stewards who embraced each day with a passionate pursuit of faithfulness. That is our calling, and I pray this Lenten season you experience it in all the fulness for which God intends for you.