Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stuff that Really Matters

Prior to my trip to Rwanda, I read about God’s call for Christians to pursue justice, along with several stories of those saints who had done just that. What resulted was an eye-opening education that convinced me more than ever of the church’s need to go beyond our comfort zones. Gary Haugen is one believer who has been transformed by living this reality. Now, he’s encouraging others to do the same through the work of the International Justice Mission and his book, Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition for the Restless Christian (IVP).

Our lack of concern and action regarding justice is evident in the fact that while Haugen’s message is at the heart of the Gospel, he has to write a book to remind God’s people about what lies at the very heart of the God we say we follow.

In the book, Haugen tells the story of his friend Sean Litton, a lawyer who decided to put Christ’s call—to find one’s life by losing it—to the test. Litton walked away from his safe and secure job to work for Haugen’s IJM, addressing sexual trafficking and child sexual assault in the Philippines. His life was changed, but he almost didn’t go. He says four things were holding him back. There was the comfort of his nice house and all he had accumulated. There was his security and freedom from danger. There was the control he had over the circumstances of his life. And finally, there was the success he was experiencing in his career. But he let go of comfort, security, control and success, and he took the unsafe option by giving up his life and going to the Philippines.

What happened? Sean Litton found his life. In exchange for what he gave up he got back adventure, faith, miracles and a deep knowledge of Jesus. His faith grew and solidified in ways he could have never imagined. That’s why this book is must-reading for us all.

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