Becoming a Christian is easy. Being a Christian is not. Those who visit here often know about one of my daily prayers, “Lord, I pray I’ll be the man my kids see at church on Sunday”. It’s at the top of my blog’s sidebar and it’s displayed on a post-it attached to a family photo on my desk. It’s a great reminder for me to “walk my talk”.
As Christians, we like to think we’re not hypocrites. But, we’re very good at it. Well, I certainly am. We’re model Christians on Sunday morning, but as the day and week goes on, we tend to stop being Christians. Maybe not completely, but work with me here…
Maybe it’s Monday morning when the alarm goes off. Maybe it’s our drive home in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Maybe it’s at home when you walk in and discover your AC has gone out. Maybe it’s when we’re tired or distracted and only pretend to hear what our child or spouse is saying to us.
The reality is the life Christ has called us to is not humanly possible. Let’s take Jesus’ command to “love your neighbors as yourselves”. Pretty easy, right? BUZZZZZ! Wrong answer. Next contestant, please. 😉 Even harder is his command to “love our enemies”. I don’t know about you, but that one is not working out so well for me.
Loving the guy who just rear-ended you because he was talking on his cell phone is not easy. Loving an associate who stabbed you in the back for personal gain is not easy. The rapist, the terrorist, the child molester–loving these people is not easy. But these are the people that Jesus commands us to love. These are the very people that Christ hung out with.
At best, we tolerate them, bite our tongues and wait for the moment to pass. We certainly don’t invite them to church. We don’t sit down with them over a cup of tea and listen to their life story. I don’t believe we are necessarily being asked to love them in the emotional or intimate way we typically associate with love. Rather we are to love them for what they are; a creation of God. Someone with a more theological bent may have better way to describe it, but I believe we are allowing God to love through us. This is not a love that is generated within our own beings or by our own desires. This love is generated by allowing God to have all of our heart, so that He can love through us. When this happens we get to experience God’s love for others through our heart.
Christianity is not easy. Thank God for His grace.