"I was just another believer. I believed all the right stuff- that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again. I had become a 'believer,' but I had no idea what it means to be a follower. People had taught me what Christians believe, but no one had told me how Christians live." - Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution
I've had so many thoughts running through my head lately about what it really looks like to live as a follower of Christ, specifically here in America. Fortunately for you, the spouting diatribes that I originally wrote on the subject will not be posted. Trust me, you would thank me if you knew the ramblings I nearly subjected you to. However, these un-posted posts did help me to collect my thoughts on the matter.
The main thought that kept haunting me was this: What if Jesus really meant what He said?
Coming face-to-face with that thought has really challenged me to rethink the way I live my life as a Christian. Why do I spend money on things I don't need when Jesus taught not to store up treasures on earth? Why, when Jesus said to love God with all my heart, mind, and soul, do I live my life for myself? Why don't I give more of my time and money to others when Christ said to care for the widows, orphans and poor? I could go on and on, but you get the gist.
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he should do and doesn't do it, sins." - James 4:17
I have been told in scripture what good I should do as a Christian. I am without excuse. So why have I continued to live such an ordinary life? One problem I think, is that the Christian community doesn't have a lot of real-life, good examples to follow and we use this an as excuse for inactivity.
Here's what I mean: It seems that as American Christians, we tend to be presented with one of two main options - Sell everything and move to Africa or Go ahead living your life, be a good person and do something for God every now and again.
Now, I don't think everyone can pack up and move to a third-world country. Though, I also think that if we really listened to God, more of us would realize we are indeed called to move to a third-world country.
My point (I do have one, I promise) is this: There has got to be something in-between. I don't mean "lukewarm-spat-you-out-of-my-mouth" in-between. More like, if you truly and honestly don't feel called to move to Africa, but you don't want to be a mediocre Christian - then what? What does that look like, especially in the American culture?
I am struggling with this in my own life. I am searching for ways to truly live my life for Christ, rather than living my life for myself with Christ as a garnish. The deeper I search myself and my life, the more uncomfortable I become with my own comfort.
I had an imaginary conversation with God the other day. I pictured myself at the pearly gates and God was asking me why I didn't feed the poor and take care of the widows and the orphans, why didn't I love my enemy, why I didn't tell people about His son Jesus, why I didn’t give up everything for Him. All could do was hang my head and mumble, "I didn't think you were serious..."
Q4U- What if Jesus really meant what He said?