Have you ever thought about how many careers exist in our world because sin exists? I’ve recently been able to give it more thought than usual as I prepared to preach this Sunday from Acts 19. A quick summary of the passage: Paul preached in Ephesus, people were coming to faith in Jesus, and other people were getting annoyed. Enter Demetrius–a man who made a significant amount of money making idols for people to purchase. Needless to say, some people’s newfound faith in Jesus started to shrink the pocket of our friend Demy (what I affectionately call him).
The Temple of Artemis isn’t as nice-looking now
There were really two big points from today. . .
- Jesus challenges us individually
- Jesus challenges us culturally
Who we are, what we believe, how we think, the things we trust in, the things we delight in, the way we make money, the way we use money. All of these challenge the one who puts faith in Jesus.
We devoted a good amount of time considering what might be challenged in our own culture if people began embracing Jesus. What might change? Who might lose a job? How might commerce be different? I had multiple people come up to me after each service throwing in their thoughts on how their own profession might change (or disappear altogether) if people began loving Jesus together.
- Cutting down on excess-We like to eat and drink in these parts. A lot. If you can move to Baton Rouge and not gain weight, I’ll give you a medal. Yours truly is about 15 pounds heavier in four years here; and the only condition that I have on considering dieting is if we discuss it over a plate of beignets. Say goodbye to people who profit considerably off of our overeating and drinking if this changes.
- Resolving conflict-The US has the highest amount of lawyers per capita, and Louisiana (how I love her) has the highest percentage of all states. See, we can win at some things. Imagine what would happen if people started handling their own problems. Say goodbye to litigation attorneys and counselors (well, some of them).
- Healthy marriages-Attached to the above is this one. How delightful would it be if we could spend more time staying married than getting unmarried? If we truly embraced the call to have Christ-honoring marriages and valued that over our own personal comforts, we might actually see the divorce rate decrease. (Side note: I spent a little time talking about the recent Supreme Court decision. Read this article for a great summary.)
At lunch with a friend from church (who happens to be a lawyer–ha!), we talked about this some more. So many careers exist because sin exists that a radical shift to a Christ-honoring life by people en masse would have radical changes on our world. And we are usually all fine with it…until it might actually affect us (just like it did Demetrius).