Thursday, May 6, 2010

What If Jesus Really Meant It?

"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?

2 comments:

  1. Kristi Joy KlontzMay 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    So true! I've been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and have been thinking about all this too... What does it take to really live large?

    I've also thought about the whole "sell everything and move to Africa" thing and while I firmly believe it is important, I also think there is something very important about figuring out how to "live large" here in the US. The more people I am around at school, etc. the more that I realize just how many people have no clue who Jesus is. America is becoming a "third-world" nation in regard to Christian living... So, I guess what I've been feeling is that there is a big part of me that wants to go somewhere you can see the difference everyday (like Africa), but there's a bigger part of me that knows that for now my life needs a radical wake-up call right where it's at. I think that's why God put me at Worldview for the summer.. I wanted to go "into all the world" and He wanted me to go to Oklahoma and New Hampshire, etc. I'm so glad we serve a God who is trustworthy and cares about the little things... And also kicks us when we need a little kicking. So awesome!

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  2. Glad you wrote on this. I have been thinking about this a lot since we have been talking about it lately.

    Its scary. I dont think we have a CLUE what a follower of Christ really looks like. We might have a few examples, but not many at all. We have an idea of what a semi follower looks like, but not full out devoted for Christ. Not someone who is living their life fully for God and not partially for self.

    Anyway, Keep these convicting blogs coming!!!

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