Over the past few weeks while in Calcutta, India, I’ve noticed how often the poor are mentioned throughout Scripture. It’s hard not to notice poverty when you’re surrounded by it. But back in Toronto, it’s easy to ignore the poor and my responsibility to care for them, help them and minister to their needs. Also in Canada, our idea of poverty is a whole lot different than India. One could be considered have a cell phone, cable television and internet but still be considered poor in Canada. While India’s economy is the fastest growing in the world, it ranks number 67 on the Global Hunger Index among 88 nations.
While most would avoid a city like this, Mother Teresa is said to have chosen Calcutta because of its extreme poverty. She saw a great opportunity to serve Christ by serving the poorest of the poor. Having lived out most of her life in a tiny room with a tiny bed and a tiny window, no one can argue the witness and legacy of her life.
Unlike many in ministry, when Mother Teresa became famous, she kept her focus on Christ. Instead of moving to a better area of the city, like Jesus, she made a conscious decision to live among those she served.
It’s easy to start off with good intentions, but when success comes, how will you respond? Will you lose your focus on serving God and people and start to serve yourself or will you do what is necessary to stay humble? It was when success came that King David fell. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it couldn’t happen to you.
Surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you and hold you accountable to live and ministry with honesty, integrity and transparency is necessary. Like Mother Teresa, follow the example of Christ: a simple life well-lived speaks volumes to the world around you.