It is not unusual for businesses and enterprises to have “mission statements” to outline their objectives, goals, philosophy, and proposed impact their products or services are intended to have.
When you think about what they are doing the “statement” is a great way to focus an image – how people envision us, to focus a message – how people conceive of us, to focus a mentality – how we align our habits and energies to support our “mission”.
Do you have a mission statement? Are you involved in something where you have “bought in” – as we say – to its image, message, and mentality? At this point, if you are employed then to a degree you share something of the company’s “mission” whether it be babies, shoes, legal counsel, or even that start-up bravado.
But the question before us in this piece is not really about our nine-to-fives, or even our careers; the question is a deeper one. It is not necessarily a question of personal aspirations (e.g. “I am an adventurer, I will see the world”).
So the question posed here again is: Do you have a “mission statement”? Yes, this is a spiritual double entendre – I have another meaning in mind.
A Line of Thought on the Mission
First, let us begin with a few ideas. Everything around us that we see on Earth and the universe is the result a Creator. It is unfortunate that some do not acknowledge this truth, but suppress (Rom. 1.18).
To this point Paul, the apostle of Jesus, writes:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom. 1.19-20 ESV)
The world is evidence within itself that there is a creator of limitless power and intelligence, and he is to be acknowledged by us – the product of his creation (Psa. 8.3-8) – in the way we live.
The quote ends with the strong indictment that if we do not so acknowledge His existence we are “without excuse” (v. 20). The word has a litigious background, and essentially means that in the cosmic courtroom such are “without defense” (Gk. anapologetos).
No words, no smooth arguments, no loopholes, nothing will be grounds for a mistrial; there is simply no excusable rational for rejecting the existence of a Creator as revealed in nature which bears the marks of intelligent design and infinite power.
Moreover, such a Creator by virtue of His very nature has the right to demand faithful service from His creative progeny – humanity (Gen. 1.26-30, Rom. 1.18, 21-23; 9.19-21). If we mortal parents may expect by virtue of our position to hold authority over our children, how can we expect the Father of all to hold any less.
Second, every expectation to obey God’s will (= Law/commandment) is a reflection of His holiness, and the expectation that humanity will take upon themselves the freedom to make a choice to obey or to disobey.
This freedom of choice is reflected very clearly in the historical narrative of Adam and Eve as they are given everything in the Garden of Eden save the right to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The stated consequence should such infraction occur, the Lord said, is “death”.
It is not told to us how long or short the first family lived in compliance with this expectation of behavior in the garden; however, it is revealed to us that unfortunately Eve gave in to temptation as did Adam. And as the initial consequence, the first couple were expelled from the Garden and lost access to the tree of life (Gen. 3).
Sin it is said by John, the apostle, is the rejection of God’s law (1 John 3.4). In fact it is an expression of a lack of love and a lack of fidelity to God (1 John 5.2). Hence, what we have been given in this freedom of choice is an ability to decide our relationship with God – will we show love and fidelity, or will we show a lack thereof?
Freedom of choice is a powerful instrument of human behavior. With it we fall from grace and the stature of one made in the image of God (Rom. 3.9-18, 23), and by it we return to God and submit our powers of decision into the hands of a forgiving and holy God (Rom. 2.4; 3.26).
At every instance, then, we have a choice. Will we take those choices which inherently become less as we expend more earthly time to His service or to our own selfish ambitions? Surely, our plans can only be enhanced by submitting to the Mind of God (Prov. 16.25; Isa. 55.8-9).
Third, while we may enjoy the blessing of freedom of choice it is a privilege which swings two ways. Much like the tongue, by our choices we may praise God or reject him (Jas. 3.45). As a consequence of our decisions, sin is a common problem to all accountable individuals (Ezek. 18.20). And yet, in Jesus we given a saving message of rebirth (John 3.4), of salvation (1 Thess. 1.10), and a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17).
If in our sinful choices we have lost our identity as the image of God, than surely in our choices which reflect our recreation in Christ amount to a new plan of action in our lives. Paul, the apostle, writes that in the when we are saved we are remade to walk in certain works He has assigned us to accomplish (Eph. 2.10).
Back to Our Question
What’s your mission statement? While we have freedom of choice, when a person chooses to become a Christian that person has committed to live as God directs, as Christ reflects, so that our living connects His mission with our mission in this world.
The Lord’s mission was to reconcile the world back to Himself:
[I]n Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 8.19-20 ESV).
Notice how Paul acknowledges that his mission is that same as God’s mission: to appeal to others through the message of the Gospel to announce how God is reconciling the world to himself.
Christians are those recreated in Christ, and our “mission” is to help other people see God’s abundant love found in the Gospel. Our mission matters, because our mission is suppose to be His mission. So how does your “mission” add up?