One of the most recent trends that had swept the social media world was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
If you’re not familiar with it, it is basically an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. The participant in the challenge then nominates more individuals to take the challenge by tagging their names in their video post of themselves.
So what this challenge looks like is:
1) The problem: ALS
2) The solution: raising awareness of the problem
3) The how: dumping ice water on heads
4) The spread: tagging others to do the same
For weeks, videos of friends and family taking the challenge flooded my Facebook newsfeed (pun intended). There are even some great videos of people messing up, people playing tricks with it, and even celebrities taking part.
It seemed as if people had a strange willingness to make themselves look foolish. And this act of foolishness became acceptable because of the greater good that it would accomplish: raising awareness.
Seeing this trend spread like wildfire, I couldn’t help but think about raising awareness.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 records another challenge that should raise awareness.
In this Scripture, we find that God has reconciled, or made peace between, man and Himself, and that this was done by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice to take our sins. Then we find that, those of us who have been reconciled (Christians), we are now given the job of reconciliation. This job is then explained more when the Bible says that we are ambassadors or representatives of Jesus and that what our job looks like is eagerly begging those who have not been reconciled to God, to be reconciled to God.
So what this challenge looks like is:
1) The problem: many are not reconciled to God. This means that peace has not been made between God and them. They have not trusted the sacrifice of Jesus to take their sin and therefore, have not, in return, received His righteousness.
2) The solution: raise awareness of the problem and solution. People need to know that, apart from faith in Jesus, they remain unreconciled to God. But, people also need to know that, by faith in Jesus, they could be reconciled and have a restored relationship with the God that they were created for.
3) The how: eagerly beg them to be reconciled to God. Begging involves action. It involves words. It involves pleading a case, addressing a problem (sin leading to hell) and the glorious solution (Jesus’ taking our sin so that by faith in Him we take His righteousness). Begging involves energy, attention, and often times the possibility of looking foolish.
4) The spread: tagging others to do the same. When God calls us His ambassadors, He personally tags each one of us who have already been reconciled to Him, to continue spreading the news. As more and more people trust Christ and get saved, they are being reconciled, and as soon as they are, they are tagged to continue its spread.
I long to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread like wildfire like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did. Because not only are we raising awareness of a problem or a sickness, we as Christians are raising awareness of the cure!
We cannot control wether or not somebody actually puts their faith in Jesus and gets saved, cured, becomes reconciled to God. It is not our job to ensure that that happens, it’s God’s. However, it is our job to beg: plead, address the problem and solution, expend energy, give attention, and even look foolish.
Sometimes, we are more willing to allow the whole world see us look foolish for the sake of a disease and a trend than we are to look foolish for the sake of the cure and the truth. Yes, we may look foolish but, these acts of foolishness become acceptable because of the greater good that they would accomplish: raising awareness.
**By the way, I “participated” in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge during a teen event that we held to promote missions called the Mini-Summit. Click https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154469904800696 to see what I mean by “participated.”