When I was about 10 or 11, my little sister and my best friend Jenna and I started a club. We were playing one day and decided that we should do something to “save the animals.” We called our little group “The Life Savers Club.” We made buttons. We puff-painted T-Shirts. We sold Country Time Pink Lemonade on the corner. We made sandwich boards and wore them as we rollerbladed down Wooddale Avenue yelling “Save the animals! Save the dolphins! Save the whales!” We met in Jenna’s backyard shed that had a little pass-through window. I was the President, of course, Jenna was Vice, and my sister was the Treasurer. We had a coffee can that we had to put our dues, 25¢, in every time we had a meeting. If we didn’t have the money, no problem, we would just take a quarter out and put it back in. I think we bought hermit crabs with the money we made.
When I think about the Life Savers Club now, I can hardly imagine myself doing all of that. It seems so far away from who I am today. And it makes me wonder, what happened? When we were little, we were taught that we could make a difference, and we believed it. If we felt strongly about something, we did something about it, even if that something was really meaningless in the scheme of it all. Then we hit junior high or high school and start realizing that other people are watching, and it cocoons us into a “don’t do anything uncool, just try to look like everyone else” mindset. At least, it did to me.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:16-17). When he said that, he didn’t mean taking everything blindly and just believing it all like Santa or the Easter Bunny. He meant the kind of faith that drives a child to make up dance routines to “Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion” and perform them at a nursing home, and to sing Psalty at the top of their lungs (don’t ask me how I knooooooow). The kind of faith that makes a kid happily and easily invite her friends to church and youth group and summer camp, and watch as they get saved. A child’s faith is unabashed. How many of us, as adults, can say that?
God, in His infinite love and ridiculous grace toward you, became a man and died for you. DIED for YOU. Do we act like it? Do we make that message the center of our entire livelihood, unabashedly? Would we be caught dead rollerblading down the street with a sandwich board that read “LIFE SAVERS CLUB” on it? Screaming, “He saved ME! He saved ME! And He can save YOU!” What would it look like if we put all of our energy and resources into the One who actually has the ability to Save Lives? Or, are we too wrapped up in our self-protecting cocoon of fear to break out of it and actually fulfill His command, the Great Commission? It wasn’t merely a suggestion. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). The gospel is the power that brings salvation to people. If we are able to clearly post and voice our opinions on politics and social morality, how much more so should we be sharing the hope of the gospel? It’s funny, the things we don’t mind offending people with, and the things we do.
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels”” (Luke 9:23-26).
So, whaddaya think? Wanna join my club? It’s called the Life Losers Club. It’ll cost you everything you’ve got. But the reward is everlasting.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Philippians 3:7-9).