Friday, January 09, 2009

According to what?

Yesterday marked fifty-three years since Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and Ed Mcully were killed in Ecuador by the Waodoni tribe. Their desire was to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a people known to be hostile and dangerous to all outsiders. Despite potential danger, these men, their wives and children moved to South America with the intent to establish relationships with the Wadoni tribe and see them live for Christ.
However, the warnings about these people proved fatal for the three men. They died making contact with the tribe. Of all the ways these men could have lived a life of ministry they chose something extremely dangerous knowing they could leave their family husbandless and fatherless.
What makes such a lifestyle choice acceptable and rational? Clearly these gifted men could have been missionaries in many other areas where people had never heard about Jesus Christ and been faithful to Christ as well as possibly seeing people accept the Gospel. But they chose to follow a calling that many people, even in the church, may say is unreasonable. I don't recall their friends' and families' response to their move and mission so I am merely bringing this topic up to encourage people to think about the values with which they seek to live their lives. Is the love of Christ the constraining power driving you? Or is natural reason or selfish motives driving your decisions?
Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." May the love of Christ and His call to love move us beyond human rationality to godly wisdom.