Are you embarrassed, as a Christian, because you and your family have not sold all to go and live in a war-torn, third world country where you can minister to orphans behind enemy lines while taking incoming fire? If so, you may have bought into a movement that has been coined by World Magazine as the “new legalism.” From the World article:
“I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they ‘settle’ into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, ‘aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.’ For too many millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about.” (The ‘new legalism’ -World Magazine, May 4, 2013)
There are a few writers of today that I suspect might be contributing to this mindset of, I’ve got to Go Do Big Things For God. And the reality is that these subtle teachings about being great for God can pluck at our flesh, and cause us to be prideful and to subtly shift our thinking into a sort of hierarchical framework. By this I mean that we can perhaps unconsciously begin to think of some Christians as being “Good,” some “Better,” with some (especially the overseas missions one) garnering the coveted “Super Christian” label.