I remember years ago having a discussion with a Christian friend. He was confiding in me what his greatest current struggle was at the time. “I just don’t know,” he said, “if Jesus called me to die for Him right now, if I could actually do it.”
I wanted to respond, “That’s your greatest struggle right now? That’s it? I’m just trying to make it through the day without dishonoring Jesus too badly, and you’re biggest trial is hypothetical martyrdom? Please; let me define for you what a struggle really is.” However, in a moment of unusual restraint, I refrained from my caustic comments.
I know there have been those “on-fire” moments for most of us– moments when we’ve considered the life of a great missionary, preacher, or martyr–and wondered if we would have what it takes to live such exceptional lives that they warrant a biography to be written about us. However, few of us will ever be called to such greatness. Most us (let’s face it) will be called to simply live ordinary lives to the glory of God.
Ordinary? Bleh. Am I being a dream-killer here? No; just being realistic. Most of us will never glorify God by stalwartly refusing to recant our profession of faith and being thrown to the flames as a consequence. But we will be called to glorify God in the mundane (or commonplace) details of our lives. We may not glorify God by preaching to thousands; we may do it by praying for a hurting friend or telling a non-Christian about Jesus. We may not lead an entire tribe to the Savior in the remote bush of South America, but we may be called to do our jobs well to the glory of God. Maybe not a martyr, but a godly diaper-changer.
Consider these verses about glorifying God in the ordinary:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
(Colossians 3:23 ESV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
I was greatly encouraged about this whole idea as I listened to a recent podcast called “Connected Kingdom.” Hosted by Tim Challies and David Murray, this episode is devoted to “ordinary Christians.” If you think you don’t matter because you’re not an elder, listen to this podcast and be encouraged.Co-host David Murray puts it this way:
We are called to extraordinary ordinariness. Yes we are to serve God in these everyday run-of-the mill roles, but we are to excel in them. We are to be extraordinary wives, husbands, parents, children, employees and employers. We are to be the best ordinary we can be. And that’s what will make a lasting difference to the church and the world.
I know some of the people who have influenced me most in life were not famous at all, but ordinary, godly people whose consistent walk with God spoke volumes.
Download or stream the Connected Kingdom podcast via iTunes, or by clicking here. (You can also read the transcript by clicking the link.)