I accompanied my parents on a little trip to Office Depot to grab a few office-essentials and I came upon this sign. As you can see on the sign, the words "Reduced-Effort Staplers" is the largest text visible. In really thinking about this sign, Office Depot is obviously trying to bring to your attention the fact that the stapler you own now in forcing you to exert a largely unnecessary amount of effort when trying to secure your important documents together.
But I mean seriously...How far has Western society descended into a sense of laziness and entitlement to even warrant a stapler that reduces the energy needed to use it? It's really just a press of the palm while your papers are underneath the staple...Is it really necessary to have a stapler that takes that overwhelming 60% off of your hand?
Obviously I'm not going to talk about staplers this entire post...But what about paper clips?? Easy to use, convenient, and they manage to clip those papers just fine (just kidding). In all seriousness, I feel a life-lesson approaching. I hope you're able to take this seemingly-random topic and find a little truth in its application.
We live in a world so focused on "the easy route" of life. We try to get as much stuff as we can while trying to do the least for it. We expect things to fall into our laps simply because we have grown up with this sense of entitlement brought about by our culture. We want the satisfaction of instant-gratification and patience is no longer an aspect of our character. We are so confused on what this life is really about and we get so hung up on the "dream" that if I am able to live comfortably, my life will be set.
As always, I want to point you to the Word of God because nothing I ever say or write will ever be of worth when compared to the Bible.
Christians, we are living in an age of apathy and inactivity. Paul says in Romans 12:11, "Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord." When we are apathetic towards the need of this world to know Christ, we are not doing the duty Christ has charged us with. We are told to "GO" by Christ in the form of The Great Commission and I would like to point out this is not just a "if you have time" kind of request. It's not even a request at all. This is a commandment to tell people about the hope that you profess and how they can find this reality of forgiveness and grace.
It is every Christian's calling to share the truth, not just those that are called to teach or pastor. We all reflect the light and love of Christ and we are all capable of sharing this love so long as we clearly understand what this Jesus thing is all about. It's not about living a good life, or making good decisions, or not drinking, or not swearing. We are called to so much more than that. We are not called to be the morality police because the Holy Spirit convicts people of their own sin. We are called to equip ourselves in the truth and teachings of the Gospel, GO, and share with everyone and anyone that will listen.
We can't settle for the "Reduced-Effort Gospel" and think that people will hear about Christ if they were meant to hear about Him. We must take matters into our own hands while we are filled with the Spirit and let God use us.
Nothing we do on our own will ever be worthy of glory, but to the Kingdom of God all glory forevermore.
The Gospel calls us to (metaphorically) staple papers with our hands. I don't even mean using a regular stapler. We are (again metaphorically) called to take the staple out of the stapler and push it through the paper with our own fingers.
"How do you figure that Kasey?" Well let me tell you. Better yet, I'll let Christ tell you.
Christ explains what someone should expect when they sign their name on the dotted line of salvation. He speaks in Matthew 10:16-23:
"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."
Sounds like a stroll in the park right? By no means! Are you willing to be flogged for the name of Christ? Are you willing to die at the hands of persecution for your God and King? Fortunately for us, Christ assures us that it is all worth it. I know that the Apostles as well as the many martyrs for the faith believed this whole-heartedly. They were called to die for the truth, and that is exactly what they did.
It's time to get rid of the Reduced-Effort Gospel. No one is getting saved and no one is experiencing the grace that God so freely gives. I've said it before and I will say it until I sit with my Lord in His Kingdom: He died for us, it's time we start living for Him.