How are you doing?
Interesting question isn’t it? Depending on the context, you are likely to answer it in a variety of different ways.
In a public setting, it might be: “Good.” (Whether or not you are).
To some friends or family you might open up more and share a little deeper.
To an old friend that you haven’t seen in awhile, you might respond with an update on the family. “The wife is good, the kids are growing, I finished school and we moved to a new house.”
These are all good things to share. They are appropriate and have their place. People want to know this sort of information.
But what I’ve also found is that it’s easy for us to avoid an even more important metric for how we’re doing: the Christian standard of disciple-making.
How are you doing?
“Good. We just bought a bigger house.” That’s a lot different than, “Good. I shared Jesus with three people this week, invested in someone with leadership potential and discipled someone in my church.”
As Jesus followers, we need to keep in mind the important metric of what Jesus calls us to. It’s not a bigger house, it’s not a better looking family, it’s not a newer car or custom made Italian suit. The metric to which Jesus calls us is in discipling. It’s in calling people to find him. It’s in shaping, participating in, and living in a Kingdom that is not like anything this world has to offer.
The call of Jesus is faithfulness to the message of God: equity, justice, love, grace, acceptance, and Good News for everyone.
Particularly this week as we are inundated with phrases like “God Bless America” it’s easy to become ‘me focused’. We look inward. Saying “God Bless America” is sort of like saying, “God gave me a bigger house.” The truth is we need to change our metric and our perspective. The point of God’s blessing is never to keep it isolated to oneself or a localized community. The point of any godly blessing is to bless others.
Look at Israel. They were not blessed because they were particularly special, they were blessed so that they could bless others. Well, at least that was the point. They didn’t always do too well.
And I think we need to learn from that.
The truth is that most of us are far too rich and far too fat for our own good. We have been blessed. What we haven’t done is is pass that blessing on to others. We haven’t shared the Kingdom in the ways that God desires of us.
The next time someone says, “How are you doing?” take time to think about what really matters.