We have all been there. Your spouse asks you to do something right when you’re in the middle of something. A neighbor is moving on a Saturday when we just want to lay on the couch. Everything in us screams, “NOT NOW!” Why does a need always arise at the most inconvenient times?
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:1-2
As romantic as it sounds, if we want to emulate the heart of Christ and be a true image-bearer, we must see inconveniences as opportunities rather than annoyances. This is not easy for our flesh, which seems to fold at the smallest infringement upon our comforts and rights.
You see, it’s when we are most inconvenienced that we most display the charity and love of our Heavenly Father.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When we help others in times of need, which never come in times of convenience, we are fulfilling the law of Christ. When you obey the law, you are reflecting the character of God and glorifying him.
Our maturity is revealed through times of inconvenience. As C.S. Lewis put it, “Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”
When there are needs that need to be met, and you don’t want to meet them. When things come up out of nowhere, or when you are called upon to serve outside of your giftings, these are the moments when we can make a great impact for the kingdom. Not through our skill but through our love expressed in the midst of inconvenience. This is when it counts.
Jesus wants us to count the cost of our commitment. It’s a privilege and an honor to “pay the price.” Following Jesus is supposed to cost us something. In the West, we have fewer opportunities to do so with our very lives, but we can live with our lives laid down to serve. Are you truly surrendered?
Jesus often warned us away from a romantic view of following him. He understands that when we volunteer to go anywhere at any time, our romanticism will wither when our commitment becomes inconvenient — or when it collides with the true cost of discipleship.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
Discipleship means we give up any thought that there will be bits and pieces of our lives that can remain unaffected by our relationship with Jesus. We can’t say “yes” to Jesus and expect to hold onto our independence. He really demands it all.
As CRI Responders, we get to answer the call when no one else is looking and often when no one else is going. Disaster frequently happens when the money and time are tight, your boss is in a bad mood, and sometimes when you’re planning that perfect holiday.
As Christ-followers, we lay down our right to serve only when and where it is convenient for us. When inconvenience is the backdrop to your willingness to show love, the character of Christ shines brightest through you, and it will come with great reward.
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 37-40