Motive Check

26 Jul

Currently I’m reading Andrew Bonar’s biography of Robert Murray McCheyne. I’ll give you a full book review once I’m actually finished it but I came across a challenging quote from his journal in regard to our eagerness to serve Christ in missionary work, such as Go Teams, in comparison to our service of him where He’s placed us now, among our friends and family.
“Self-examination. Why is a missionary life so often an object of my thoughts. Is it simply for the love I bear to souls? Then why do I not show it more where I am? Souls are as precious here as in Burmah. Does the romance of the business not weigh anything with me? – the interest and esteem I would carry with me? – the nice journals and letters I should
write and recieve? … Am I wholly deceiving my own heart? and have I not a spark of true missionary zeal?”

Robert Murray McCheyne


4 Responses to “Motive Check”

  1. Steelo July 27, 2007 at 3:10 pm #

    Very challenging. And a great book – required reading for every Christian.

  2. Daniel Ritchie August 3, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    That is one biography which I have been meaning to read for years, but never got round to. However, I think that there are not enough biographies of Christian men and women who lived out their faith in other areas of life, besides the ministry and missionary work.

    I am currently reading a biography of General Robert E. Lee (Call of Duty by Steven Wilkins) who fought for the Confederates in the American Civil War. There was a man who was a true man and who walked humbly with his God in all that he did – whether in his family life, his work, looking after his troops, on the battle field, taking responsibility for mistakes and putting away bitterness in disappointment.

    Perhaps if there was more biographies of this kind for young Christian men, we would not be the sort of jinny-annes that most of us are.

  3. Alastair and James August 4, 2007 at 12:15 pm #

    I see your point Daniel but on the other hand I doubt there are more inspiring stories than those of men and women who gave up everything to dedicate their whole lives to the advancement of the gospel, sacrificing everything.

    I don’t think the type of biography being most commonly read can be blamed. Maybe it’s that not enough are being read or perhaps we spend to much time looking for inspiration and not enough actually doing something.

    On the topic of non-missionary/minister biographies I would thoroughly recomend “War and Grace” to everyone. Short biographies of christians and their service of Christ in the World Wars. Any other recommendations out there?

  4. Daniel Ritchie August 6, 2007 at 12:28 pm #

    Thanks for your reply men; however, not all of us are called to be ministers and missionaries (that is not to say that we should not read books about them).

    War and Grace is brilliant; everyone should read it. There is a series of biographies called Leaders in Action (the book I was reading is part of it) edited by George Grant. It includes biographies of George Washington, Patrick Henry (a figure from the American Revolution), Winston Churchill, CS Lewis, JS Bach (classical musician), ‘Stonewall’ Jackson (Confederate General), as well as ministers (Calvin, Luther, Knox, Edwards etc). So far I have only read the ones of Knox and Lee, but it seems like a good series.

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