Early last week, the mother of one of my wife’s friends passed away. My wife spent a chunk of this past Saturday morning and afternoon at the funeral and the gathering afterward. She did get home in time on Saturday to head off to Saturday night service at our church. This was a particularly exciting Saturday, as my seven year old daughter was getting baptized. As we were driving to the church, my nine year old son, Jacob, mentioned that he felt bad for my wife’s friend because she no longer had a mother. We started to talk about how she did still have a mother, her mother was just in heaven now.
Well, Jacob wanted to make sure that he did a little fact checking to put his mind at ease. So, first he asked if my wife’s friend was a Christian. My wife explained that she was. Then Jacob asked if her mom had been a Christian, and my wife again explained that she was. That was sufficient for Jacob to conclude that they would be reunited in heaven, but then he proceeded to ask the most peculiar question:
What kind of Christian is she?
Well, usually I can guess where Jacob is heading when he asks these types of questions, but I have to admit that even I was a little bit befuddled by this one. “What do you mean,” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “is she a Christian like us or like Nan (my wife’s mother)?”
It started to get a little more clear. My mother-in-law is a devout Christian, but there are some doctrines that she adheres to that I disagree with. I don’t think any of them are “deal breaker” type issues, but occasionally they do come up, and I have talked to my son about them before as he tends to ask a lot of questions. I have tried to handle the issues with as much grace as possible, and I thought he may be referring to these. So, I asked the obvious question, “What do you mean?” His reply startled me a little bit.
You know, is she just a normal Christian like us, or is she crazy for Jesus?
It wasn’t the first time my son has said something that felt to me as if God himself was slapping me upside the head. I knew exactly what Jacob meant. We talk about Jesus a lot in my house, we pray, we read our Bible, and I try to stress how important Jesus is, but Jacob is right. Compared to us though, my Mother-in-Law is “crazy for Jesus.” Her love and passion for Jesus are obvious to everyone and at all times, and it so obvious that my young kids pick up on it and see the difference as well.
That is the type of relationship I want to have with Jesus. I want people to look at me and how I lead my life and think, “He’s crazy for Jesus.” I am glad that my kids, and I, have my Mother-in-Law, in our lives to model that for us. My natural bent is to not outwardly display that type of emotion and devotion. I tend to be much more reserved. I keep things inside. I am methodical and analytical. I like to think things through and analyze them. It was all of these things that led me to the deep faith which I now have in my Lord and Savior, and this is the way God made me. However, it is also these things that I have to battle against in terms of keeping my faith to myself. God rocked my world again in three little words spoken through the mouth of my nine-year-old – “crazy for Jesus.” I want to live my life in such a manner that there is no doubt that I am crazy for Jesus. We are called to be the light of Jesus. We are called to be different. I started to ask myself some questions. What am I doing that will make people think “he’s crazy for Jesus?” How am I modeling a life sold out to Christ for my kids? When God calls me home (and we will all eventually die barring the return of Christ), I don’t want people to remember me for things I’ve done or accomplishments I have made. At my funeral, I want them to remember me for my relationships. I want them to say, “He was a devoted husband and loving father.” I want them to recall that, “He really cared about his friends.” And, above all else, I want them to think, “He was crazy for Jesus!”
So, here is my question to you (and a questions I have been asking myself a lot over the last several days), what are you doing that shows that you are “Crazy for Jesus?” Are there people who think you are crazy about Jesus?
Have you read Len Sweet's book "Jesus Drives Me Crazy"? Probably not because Len said not too many people read it. I loved the book! In that book he describes an acronym NUTS which stands for Never Underestimate the Spirit. He talks about being NUTS for Jesus. I saw some copies of the book still listed for sale on amazon. Interesting read!