Have you taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yet? Or are you one of just a handful of people in the entire world who has stayed dry? This ultra-viral social media campaign designed to raise awareness and money for this dreaded disease has been amazingly successful. Celebrities, politicians, and almost all of your friends have been dunked with ice water, passing the challenge on to at least three other people. I don’t know the most recent totals, but the ALSA has raised at least 15 million more dollars this year than last. Fundraisers across the non-profit landscape are currently plotting the next fill-in-the-blank challenge!
Being generally charitable folk, Christians have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge as well. I would guess that many have also written a check of some size to ALSA. It’s a great thing to see so many responding to the challenge so quickly and decisively. In many other cases, rapid action to a good cause like this is hard to come by. So an obvious conclusion is: Christians need to challenge each other more often! Which just so happens to be what the Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV):
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Do you see it? As a regular part of the Christian life, we are to “stir up” (challenge) one another to love and good works! This is a vital form of encouragement–helping others to do what is right, for the glory of God. Part of this regular challenge is to call upon one another to not neglect the worship of God and the fellowship of the saints. And, the writer of Hebrews says that we should be in the habit of challenging each other to love and good works even more as we get closer to Christ’s return.
So it is perfectly appropriate to challenge one another to give to any number of charities. But there are a plethora of other Biblical challenges to proclaim to other Christians that may or may not include an ice water dunking:
- A challenge to husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.
- A challenge to wives to respect and honor their husbands.
- A challenge to children to obey their parents, for this is right.
- A challenge to care for the widows and orphans in our midst.
- A challenge to give generously to our Bible-believing churches and to Kingdom-building ministries.
- A challenge to get “off the pew” and get more involved in church ministries.
- A challenge to evangelize the nations.
- A challenge to remain unstained from the world.
- A challenge to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- A challenge to love our neighbors as ourselves.
What an amazing thing it would be if we would open our mouths more often and call upon our brothers and sisters in Christ to love and good works. What if videos showed up on social media regularly for these most important causes? Maybe they wouldn’t become viral and be taken up by all the celebrities and athletes of our world, but they would certainly glorify God!
Or, as an alternative, why not make it simply a way of life to speak to those closest to you and challenge them personally to love God and others and to do good works for Him. We all need to be challenged and encouraged in this way!