Consumerist and missional lifestyles are opposite ends of the cultural perspective. One seeks to obtain more, the other gives itself away. While culture at large may applaud a giver, it does so because giving is considered atypical. If all people were placing the desires of others first, seeking to give rather than to receive, any uniqueness would be lost. The applause would dissipate in light of what would be typical behavior.
Of course, that typical behavior was Creator’s intent. The missional lifestyle is learned from the original Giver, not from consumerist culture. It consistently disregards personal comfort in view of pleasing the Other. The missional lifestyle serves Christ by serving others. It is expressed through a sacramental personality in which Christ is allowed to have His way. Those seeking to live missionally, relinquish their own desires to Christ. His will matters more than their own. They pray with Jesus, “nevertheless not my will, but yours be done.” And they mean it.
As I think about people who have influenced me through their own missional lifestyles, I think of humble servants whose countenance and behavior reflected the character of Jesus. They are those who have abandoned themselves to Him. They loved to serve others. Oswald Chambers said it best, “If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve.” He is the end …and the beginning …of the missional life.