How To Neighbor

How To Neighbor

DAY 9 OF 10

We Come with Questions, Not Answers

Most of us have heard all of our faith-filled lives we should imitate Christ. At Life.Church, our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Most churches share a similar mission. The Apostle Paul reminded us in Scripture to imitate Christ. Jesus Himself calls us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. With this set up, it’s hardly a surprise that most of us have been guilty of an unconscious Messiah complex.

We have good intentions when we drop off a bologna sandwich to a homeless person. Yet, our actions say, “Here’s your answer. I’m your answer.” For decades many well-intentioned Christian organizations we’ve all supported have tried to love our world this way. “Here, hungry person, captive person, lonely person. Here’s your answer. I’m your answer.” Most of us have volunteered at an event where we flocked into a poor community with what we deemed to meet the needs of the people. We think we’re helping, but our actions are saying, “You’re a problem. You can’t find answers. I’m your answer.”

Two things. First, a Messiah complex is not imitating or following Christ—it’s imposing as a Christ impersonator. We’ll talk more about that. Second, don’t stop giving food to the hungry and resources to the poor. That would directly oppose Scripture. In fact, in situations where people are in danger, we should respond with immediate relief. However, for people to get out of the cycle of dangerous poverty, our local and global neighborhoods require long-term development and restoration. By God’s grace, so many people, churches, and organizations have begun working this way. Yet, whether we’re talking about relief or restoration, when we swoop in with all answers and no questions, we end up hurting people.

Remember when Jesus saw a hungry crowd of 5,000? With some help from Jesus, the massive crowd ate their own five loaves and two fish with basketfuls left over. If we were to impersonate the Jesus in this story, we would try to miraculously wave our hands and meet the needs of our neighbors. If we follow the Jesus in this story, we will come willing to serve, ask our neighbors what they already have, and trust God together for His miracles.

The difference between a Messiah complex and following Christ is this: one imposes with fake salvation; the other sees potential in others and loves humbly while pointing to the real Savior. So, instead of showing up holding onto answers, we will serve with open hands. Instead of just giving what we have, we will draw out what our neighbors have. We will see people as God sees us, not as problems in need of solutions. We will love others like Jesus does, not live like He doesn’t. We come with questions, not answers.

Today’s step: Look at your relationships, volunteering, neighboring, and giving. Are you coming with questions or answers? Watch today’s video with Pastor Craig and Freddie to see how questions can set people free.

Principle Five: We come with questions, not answers.
We value the strengths and gifts already at work in individuals and communities. We come with empty hands and open hearts asking how we can assist in the work God is already doing. We believe this questions-not-answers approach leads to local ownership of community-bred solutions.

About this Plan

How To Neighbor

What if we don’t have to travel far to get close to people who are distant from God? What if Christians were the best neighbors? Would your street change? Would heaven be fuller? A long time ago, a religious leader asked...

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