Extremely Driven Christians

We live in an A-plus-driven world where C-minus outcomes just don’t cut it. To do our best is the standard, to be the best is the goal, and anything less is to simply not make the grade. Just how driven is our world for superior performance? Consider this:

“An Australian professional football player said Tuesday he plans to have one of his fingers amputated in an attempt to improve his game. Brett Backwell . . . has suffered from pain and restricted movement since he broke his left ring finger three years ago. . . . “To chop a finger off, that’s a bit drastic,” Backwell told the Australian Broadcasting Commission. “But I love my footy, and love playing sport, and if that’s going to help me to succeed at this level [emphasis added], then it’s something you’ve just got to do.”1

Backwell is the first athlete known to have amputated an appendage simply to enhance his performance—to raise his grade in one area of his life. At first glance, he seems a bit eccentric. But upon closer examination, Backwell is a poster boy for our culture. He may well be a poster boy for your family and your church because, like most American evangelical Christians, you are probably driven to excel. If so, you might—like Brett Backwell—be systematically amputating some of your most important appendages in your quest.

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Did Jesus Do All Things Well?

Did Jesus do all things well? The apostle Mark reports this reaction from those who followed Jesus: “They were utterly astonished, saying, ‘He has done all things well’” (Mark 7:37). What Jesus did, He did A-plus well. But did Jesus do all things? All your things?

But Jesus didn’t have a home or a high-mileage donkey to maintain (Matthew 8:20). Jesus didn’t have a wife to care for, and any married believer will agree that Paul knew what he was talking about when he said being married meant dividing one’s devotions (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Jesus didn’t have kids. Those who say living with the disciples was like having kids, obviously never had kids. Jesus didn’t get up at 3 a.m. to help Peter throw up and change his sheets, or haul 12 disciples to 12 different soccer fields for twice-a-day practices.

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