I wrote in my journal almost 24 years ago:
When we call American Christians to sacrifice for Christ in these days we may need to clarify what we mean. Most will not be required to give up their lives, nor even much of their wealth relatively speaking. They may however have to give up a life organized around their convenience. God’s plans don’t always allow us to dictate the schedule.
I’m sure it is still true – maybe more so. I think that many Christians are willing to sacrifice for Christ’s sake if required, but only if it will fit into their plans, and won’t be too inconvenient, or mess up their comfort too much. I know I wrestle with it. I know, too convicting.
I also wrote that “most Christians today seem to desire sentimentality rather than sacrifice” which came from some article in the October ‘86 edition of the scandalous Wittenburg Door magazine.
I was 9 months into a new ministry with students at that time. I was being encouraged by parents to challenge “our kids to be good Christians” by which they meant “make them good children that good grades, obey their parents, go to a good college, make lots of money, and get good jobs.” The discomfort was palpable when I mentioned that I really hoped that some of their children would become missionaries or pastors! One mom actually said that it would really be hard on their family if their daughter pursued life as a missionary. You know, I really like the idea of missionaries, I just don’t want my kid to be one – I don’t think I could take it if they couldn’t be here for holidays. I think I said something about it being my job to ruin kids (according to American culture) for Christ’s sake. (Yes, I know that one shouldn’t say things like that to an Elder’s wife; and yes, I probably ripped it off from something Mike Yaconelli said).
Ironically, one of my daughters is a missionary in Scotland. I’m glad she was “ruined.”