What Would Your Life Be Like If . . .

How would you be today if you had been born to a mother in poverty with several children by different men? What if you had been surrounded by depression, anger, fear, hopelessness, and despair? How would you be if you had grown up in the middle of violence, drugs, profanity, and vulgarity? What if you had never known any other way to live, how would you be today?

I used to ask groups of men in the rehab where I used to work this question: How many of you have never known even one godly man, a man who doesn’t cheat, lie, steal, cuss, get drunk, use drugs, practice sexual sin, or be mean to others? Sometimes 80% of the guys would raise their hand! How would you be today if you had never known even one godly man?

It is so easy to look down on others. But how would you be today if you had lived in their shoes from birth? Why would you be any different than they are?

Environment is powerful programming. True, a few people rise beyond the programming of their childhood, but many are stuck. How do the few make it? They have a positive example — an encouraging mentor who offers practical help. A man or woman who is living a better quality of life befriends them and builds a loving, helping relationship with them demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ in practical ways.

America, however, is set up to separate people according to economics and social status. People who desperately need the love and help of a positive mentor are kept away from vital, personal relationships with those who could redirect their lives. There are millions of Americans who don’t have even one neighbor or family friend who is financially or socially better off than they are.

How would you be today if no one had ever helped you get a job or into a college? How would you be if no one had paid the money to buy all the advantages you had growing up? How would you be today if you had never had a friend or caring relationship with anyone who wasn’t struggling financially and discouraged?

Many of us have had great advantages in this culture. We’ve been helped along. We have been handed opportunity. We have been loved, disciplined, and parented well.

Everybody in America is not so fortunate. Perhaps it is time we begin to cross some socio-economic lines and become close personal friends with someone who is caught in a negative environment.

If you are looking for a place where you can make a difference in people’s lives, come and visit a church built on love, relationships, and community:  The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN, 37207 on Sundays at 10:45 am.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
This entry was posted in alternative lifestyle, Berry Street, Berry Street Worship Center, Christianity, disciple making, discipling, drugs, drunk, East Nashville, freedom, house church, human rights, Jesus, Jesus Christ, jobs, life, lifestyles, meaning, multi-racial, Nashville, organic church, popular culture, prejudice, race, recovery, rehab, religion, self-esteem, self-image, simple church, social justice, The Salvation Army, Uncategorized, values, What is church?, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What Would Your Life Be Like If . . .

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    Actually, for most Christians to answer this question, they would first have to ask their Pastors or the church hierarchy about their direction. Far too many church programs are directed to the problems that are – over there. “We need people to go on “Mission” trips to foreign lands” and as they go, they pass by hundreds, if not thousands, of the “needy” in their paths.

    I have not regularly attended church for over five years as I find that most of those I have visited are caught up in the problems – over there. But, as a Christian, I have discovered my “mission” field right here in Louisiana Avenue in Cookeville. The lady next door is in and out of the hospital and really is not very sociable, but she occiupies a lot of our prayer time. Across the street we have a young female Tech student and every night, another car, another guy, seems to spend the night and while I am not involved, I can pray that this is not a life style leading to the problems that are much too common in society. Next door, on the other side, we had four young men all Tech students (renters) and there were never any problems like noise, parties, etc., they all had part-time jobs and kept the place looking nice and as they graduated, we made a point of commending them for their behavior and we offered to provide references to that effect. Down the street, we have an invalid gentleman whose wife has to work and spend many hours taking him back and forth to the hospital. And then there are the Hispanics living in rental houses – further down the way and when I hear comments about the “illegals” invading this area, I like to remind them of our excellent neighbors. And of course, there are the clerks in the stores where we shop who need words of encouragement along the way.

    The so-called “Great Commission” calls us to “Go… and make disciples…” and I have to believe, a better interpretation might be …”as you go”. After all, once the Mission trip is over, the people you have served will never see you again. Here, on Louisiana Avenue, our neighbors get to observe all that we do, every day.

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