I've been thinking about a quote from an excellent sermon I heard a couple of weeks ago. The sermon referenced a provocative quote from D.A. Carson's book "Basics for Believers" -
"As Christians, we are called to put the advance of the gospel at the very center of our aspirations. What are your aspirations? To make money? To get married? To travel? To see your grandchildren grow up? To find a new job? To retire early? None of these is inadmissible. None is to be despised. The question is whether these aspirations become so devouring that the Christian's central aspiration is squeezed to the periphery or choked out of existence entirely."
This may sound like run of the mill, religious-speak to you but I think what makes this quote particularly provocative is that it is alien to the way most Christians think about their lives. When we think about career choices, how many of us take the advance of the gospel into account? How about the pursuit of the American dream - two kids, white picket fence et al, - where does the advance of gospel fit into that pursuit? It's entirely possible that for most of us, this central aspiration has been pushed to the periphery of our lives...still in view but marginal.
For various reasons, I've been thinking about this quote lately and asking myself a few questions -
Is D.A. Carson correct in his assertion? Should the Christian's central aspiration really be the advance of the gospel?
If so, what does it look like for someone in the marketplace to put that into practice? For instance, should a Christian nurse make the advance of the gospel, the primary objective of her job? How about someone wishing to start a business? Should the primary aim of the business be profit or gospel proclamation?
What about our lesser ambitions or aspirations? If they are not inadmissible as Dr. Carson says, then how do we evaluate them in light of our primary aspiration to advance the gospel?
When we truly grapple with what Dr. Carson is saying, I think there are serious, weighty implications to the way we live and make decisions. What do you think? How would placing the advance of the gospel at the center of your aspirations change the way you work or the choices you make?