Inside Out 282: God’s Call to the “Mundane”

07.24.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Jesus Christ calls His followers to a counter-cultural life. Leaders of what’s being called the New Radical movement write and teach that God has blessed His people for global purposes. They challenge western Christians to propel themselves out of their comfortable lives and into a world in need--to feed or teach or bring fresh water and the Good News of God to people half a world away. 

It’s an exciting—and a biblical—vision. But today’s guest on Inside Out wonders if it excludes too many earnest believers. There are Christians, she says, who, because of their stage of life, disabilities or commitments to others, cannot leave everything to sleep under a tin roof in a Karachi slum and distribute medicines to those in need. 

It’s not that Andrea Palpant Dilley opposes the vision of the New Radicals.

“I think it’s scripturally based. It’s compelling. It’s challenging,” says the author, blogger and documentary producer in our recorded interview. “My only issue with it is that it’s narrow--and by that I mean that I think it excludes many of us who are not in a place to engage their particular vision of what Christian sacrifice looks like.  I feel like some of them have defined sacrifice in a somewhat narrow way.”

Some, she says, are following God through the sacrifices inherent in raising children or serving as the go-to person for their elderly neighbors. This may seem mundane, but God is not limited to working through the dramatic.

“We can sometimes idolize sacrifice,” she says, “and by that I mean it’s really exciting to think, ‘Gosh, I want to move to Africa. I want to move into the inner city.’ There’s a certain excitement and a drama to those kinds of sacrifices. And there’s something really boring and mundane about taking care of kids at home or visiting the neighbor. But those are significant calls, too. And I think we just have to guard ourselves against having too narrow an idea of what it means to serve God.

“Not all of us are called to dramatic, radical manifestations of sacrifice; we can’t all be Mother Teresa.”

To hear more from Andrea Palpant Dilley about Christian discipleship, and serving God in the mundane, click on the “Listen” or “download” icon above.

Read her May 2013 blog post titled: “Suburbia Needs Jesus Too,”

Learn about her book “Faith and Other Flat Tires,”

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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