It’s been a while since I have been a Christian now. I first met the Lord in my uni days, and ever since I have not departed from the faith. Though at a snail’s pace, I have definitely grown much since my spiritual birth: in wisdom, in Christ-like character, in doctrinal knowledge etc.
Truly living out the Christian life
From the very get-go from my conversion, I remember being so zealous and passionate about evangelism, preaching Christ to anyone I would encounter on the streets.
I would get up early in the morning and start praying “Lord please give me an opportunity to share the gospel today, just one person Lord, just one!” I remember begging him in prayer, that he would lead someone into my life that day, and that he would empower me so that through these feeble lips Christ will be exalted and people would come to faith in him.
I remember going out to the local park in front of my campus, sitting on the bench, praying and seeking an opportunity to approach someone in hopes that I might bring someone to Christ that day.
I remember praying earnestly for hours and hours for my lost family members and my friends who have yet given their lives to Christ. The Lord has pressed a holy agonizing pain upon my soul, so much so that I could not otherwise but pray day and night unceasingly in tears.
As Paul said in Romans chapter 9 verse 3, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race.”
Daily I felt the same obligation that Paul felt, the sense of urging obligation to share to gospel, to the extent of expressing it as something that he owed it to other people, and treating it almost a crime not to share what he rightfully owed them.
Sad reality: Negative growth
However, slightly less than a decade since my conversion, I am ashamed to say that such passions and zeal have become near absent in my soul.
I can barely recall the last time that I have shed a tear for a person who is lost. I cannot recall, from my recent memories, earnestly asking God to send somebody into my life so that I can really pour out my life upon that person with the love of Christ, and share the gospel at the right moment.
Even before the whole Covid-19 crisis, I can’t ever remember going out to the streets, seeking for just one person that perhaps I might share the gospel with that day. I have lost that zeal, I have lost that passion, I have lost that sense of obligation, I have lost my love for the lost – I have grown negatively.
But the greatest of these is love
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 1 to 3).
No doubt I have genuinely grown in many areas over the years. I have grown in my knowledge of the bible, I have grown stronger in my faith (debatable, but at least in certain aspects I have), I have grown in my service toward others etc.
However, in all these things, if I have not true genuine love of Christ that is burning within me, all my supposed growth is in vain.
Of course, I am not trying to suggest that if a person does not possess a strong love for the lost, that person is necessarily without genuine love. But it sure can serve as a quick litmus test as to the true condition of your heart.
Too often we fool ourselves in thinking that we are doing great, when in reality we are in utter spiritual complacency. We better not fool ourselves in thinking we have love just because we are going through all the religious rituals and ticking off all the boxes for our religious duties.
Who am I to point fingers at, but to myself first?
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves the Lord.