How to Think About Radical Living - Radical
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How to Think About Radical Living

In this video, Pastor David Platt practically defines the simplicity of radical living within the daily life of a Christian. Living for Christ is rooted in intimacy with him, and radical living follows as a result. Radical living is not just for those that move across the world for the Gospel, and it is not just for the pastors and preachers of the world. Radical living is possible and practical for all of those being spurred on toward Christ. It is more than achievable through the encouragement of others, and the deepening of our faith.

  1. Looking at Other People’s Lives
  2. The Danger of Comparison
  3. Spurring Another Towards Christ

So sometimes people will see somebody over here, hears a story about something somebody has done and say, “Well, that’s radical.” And they’ll look at their own life and think, “Oh, I’m not radical enough. And all right, what do I need to do?” People may have friends who say, “Well, my friend sold all their stuff and moved to Africa and I’m still here. Does that mean I’m not as radical?” And so this is where I think we need to remember that comparison can be a really dangerous thing, but there’s also an angle at which it can be really healthy.

Comparison is Dangerous

So here’s how it can be really dangerous. Comparison thinking, “Okay, if my measurement based on where I am before God is based on where I fall in line with this person, if I’m giving away more, sacrificing more, doing more than this person or more people, then okay, then I’m good. If I’m not doing as much, okay, then I need to raise up.”

That’s just an up-and-down battle. That is a recipe for disaster, leads to legalism, misses the point of the gospel, bypasses intimacy with Christ. All of that is really unhealthy. So the church is designed for us to spur another own toward Christ. And when we see others growing in Christ and that leading to deeper devotion, or even in some cases deeper sacrifice, that can encourage us in a really healthy way. And the Lord might use that to open our eyes to a blind spot in our life or things in our life that maybe he wants to do. And so that is a really healthy thing. But it’s all done, not saying, “Well, how can I do what they’re doing?” It’s only helpful if that spurs us on toward Christ.

Others Can Spur Us to Live Radically

I think about biographies. I love reading biographies. Probably some of the most influential books I’ve ever read have been biographies of men and women from the past whose lives, when I look at my life in comparison with theirs, I just realize, “Man, I have so far to go.” But not in a way that, “Okay, now I got to try to work to get up to their level”, in a way that they show me some blind spots that I hadn’t seen before. Or they show me, “Hey, there’s more.” And they help me to realize, “Oh, these things I’ve spending my time on, they’re not as valuable.

These people knew in this part of their life or that part of life, what really counted.” And so in that way, what they’re doing is they’re spurring me on toward Christ. And in the process, that can be a really, really healthy thing. So that’s good in the church, but we have to end the process, avoid a very unhealthy comparison that leads to legalism and even competition and pride and misses the whole point of the gospel.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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