Monday Motivator – July 18

Do you believe in Jesus as the Savior and Lord of your life? Are you walking under His authority day by day, or do you tend to keep Jesus at the periphery of your life?

A friend of mine named Dave was updating me on his professional life and said that due to new management, he was quietly pushed from the center of the action. The new supervisor was apparently insecure because he was chosen over two more qualified applicants, one of whom was Dave.

He told me he felt marginalized, which generally has a negative meaning. As one of several senior leaders in the department (i.e., with more than ten years of service), it was not easy for Dave to be bumped or shoved away from the middle of the work and left to fend for himself in the margin. How hard it is to be basically ignored after so many years of dependable service to the company by being relegated to the fringes.

But I have heard of it and seen it happen in many industries. I remember one of my first work-study projects on campus as an undergraduate student. A few of us hit it off and enjoyed spending time together after work and between classes. But Joe was accused of cheating on a chemistry exam. Then one of the girls got pregnant and dropped out of school. Joe was soon nowhere to be found. Then he comes back and we were not sure how to react to him. Joe was aloof when asked about the exam consequences and claimed he and Sharon were not sleeping together. I am sad to say I showed Joe a cold shoulder for awhile, thinking he was avoiding his responsibilities as a man. The others in the group treated Joe similarly, so he stopped coming around.

Did something like this ever happen to you? It hurts, doesn’t it?

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

I have noticed that our culture feigns interest in Jesus, but in reality, tends to marginalize Him. Pop culture influencers often use Jesus as an ornament, saying they respect and admire Him, but secretly wish He would stay out on the margins of their lives, where they are more comfortable with Him. Think about this: when is the last time someone “in the news” took to social media to ask people not to use Jesus’ name as a swear word?

Sadly, some churches, denominations, even Christians have sidelined Jesus, too. They do not want to accept Him for who He says He is. They want to undermine His authority by substituting their own view of Scripture and biblical behavior. They want to view Him simply as a good, or great man, but not the Savior of all. That would be intolerant to suggest one view (or His view) is THE way to truth. If they can force Jesus to the margin, they can be free of His influence. Then they can stay at the center of how they want to run their own lives.

Serve globally. Where is Jesus in your life right now? Have you pushed him to the edges where you don’t have to listen to Him anymore? Or is He the One you worship, give allegiance to (i.e., obey) and will follow – even to death? Do not accept the cultural tendency to marginalize our Lord. Jesus belongs in the middle, not the margin.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2016 by Mike Olejarz

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