The World is Not Ours to Save?
Just read a book review of this interestingly-titled Christian book called ‘The World is Not Ours to Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good’ by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson. In it, he writes of how our well-intentioned impulses to do good can actually lead to us modeling ourselves after the wrong Christ. Oftentimes, our problem is not that we lack concern for Jesus and God’s work because His heart and compassion often drives our responses and actions. Yet in taking the world’s burdens onto our backs, we may run the risk of trying to grow in the image of Christ that we see in Colossians: the cosmic Jesus in whom “all things hold together” and through whose blood God chose to “reconcile to himself all things” (1:17, 20). Horrified and saddened by the sin and pain we see and experience in this world, we then try to stretch wide enough and sacrifice hard enough to fix it.
But our shoulders are not big enough for that task. In this wonderfully-written book review, the reviewer reminds us that the miracle of the incarnation means that Jesus the man is also the Son of God, and so his sacrifice is sufficient for all of us. As disciples, we are called to conformity with His image, but not to His divinity (see Romans 8:29; Luke 6:40). In a student ministers’ discussion, Greg Carmer, the Dean of Chapel at Gordon College, put it well: a mature understanding of the unity of the body of Christ allows us to care about everything Christ cares about, but to carry only what he has given us to bear. Therefore, Ephesians 4:16 which tells us that “from Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” is important because we need to always bear in mind the diversity of gifts that Christ has given to His body.
For me, this comes at an exciting time because I’ve been recently mulling and praying over where and what God is calling and leading me to use my gifts. And in this journey that He is walking with me, I hope I learn to lean on Him and His strength and that I do not overstretch and burn out in my passion and activism zeal.