In the ideal Christian world the Disciples of Christ continually embrace all of the values discussed in chapter 6 and live lives exemplary of the Savior. Shortly after the ascension of Jesus Christ the Christian community lived in great harmony where “all that believed were together, and had all things common” (Acts 2:44) and were assembled to be taught as Christians (Acts 11:26).
Jesus taught laboring is part of believing (John 6:27-29) demonstrating tireless service and telling his apostles “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). All those who follow Jesus Christ and emulate the Savior’s example of laboring in the service of others find joy (John 13:17) and reap the rewards of that labor (1 Cor. 3:8). Again, this is the ideal Christian scenario.
While America falls short today of the ideal Christian scenario with the vast majority of Christians disserting (Departing), settling for mediocrity (Adequate), or vacillating (Hesitant), there are a small number who are anxiously endeavoring in that ideal Christian scenario—such are called Laboring Christians.
The Laboring Christian is not perfect, but actively seeks and feels the perfect love of Christ when serving their families, churches and communities. These individuals have cultivated resilient and solid faith through life experiences of practicing what they believe. The Laboring Christian knows he or she has been blessed with much and is unafraid to step up to do what is required.
Laboring Christians come from all walks of life among a multitude of denominations. While all of us can surely assemble an impressive list of well known Laboring Christians throughout history, the greatest examples of Laboring Christians will never be known to the masses and may be working this very moment in schools, churches, neighborhoods, and cities around the world.
Being a Laboring Christian is not easy to sustain, despite the spiritual rewards and joy that comes from doing so. Living in the world but not becoming of the world (John 15:19) requires constant energy and attention. For example, the miraculous Mother Teresa of Calcutta served tirelessly and selflessly nearly all of her adult life and would be considered a model Laboring Christian; however, the book Mother Teresa: Come be My Light by Reverend Brian Kolodiejchuk revealed her mighty personal struggles with feeling the love of God in her life. Despite such struggles Mother Teresa never stopped laboring and changed the lives of countless individuals.
There is a fifth type of Christian—the Latent Christian—one that is extremely rare. The Latent Christian demonstrates an abundance of works with little faith to support those works. For the time being we will defer this Christian type and focus on the main four. Now that we know these Christian types the question is: “which one are you?” You might take a guess; however, the next chapter provides an exercise that can show you exactly what type of Christian you are.
Go to www.findyourchristianity.com to watch the book trailer, find out what type of Christian you are, and to order the book