Christianity is not easy.

signlove1.jpg 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.

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14 thoughts on “Christianity is not easy.

  1. Kurt

    Good stuff. One of the things I’ve learned is that the easiest hour of the week is sitting in church. It’s the rest of the time that can be the most difficult for us. You’re right being a Christian is most definitely “harder” than not being. At least that’s what we sometimes like to tell ourselves.

    Reply
    1. Benedict

      Powerful point:
      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.
      Thanks @ Kurt

      Reply
  2. Aaron

    One of my favorite lines from a movie was in the movie “League of Their Own”. Geena Davis’s character tells Tom Hanks’s Character that she is quitting the team because “it’s too hard”. To which he replies –

    “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

    Compared to the grace and suffering that Christ endured so we could be called his own, we’ve got nothing to complain about. Great post today David!

    http://inleftfield.com/2006/05/09/what-makes-it-great/

    Reply
  3. Aaron

    Quoted my original post, but forgot the scripture –

    “work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.” (2 Peter 10 NLT)

    Reply
  4. timbob

    Greetings. I imagine that none of us are as spiritual as we would like to think. It’s so amazing. Without Jesus, we can do nothing, but through Christ, we can do all things. The old song “I Need Thee Every Hour” is so accurate. Thanks for a reflective post. Have a blessed day in Christ.

    timbob

    Reply
  5. faithwalk

    David, you are so right that non of us can live this christian life in our own strength. When I was younger I thought that someday I would arrive at a place where the struggle ended.
    But it’s a lifelong process of being conformed ito the image of Christ and we will wrestle with our humanity as long as we are wrapped in this mortal flesh.

    I like what you said here:

    “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. ”

    Yes, may we ever give the Lord all of our heart. Even this is a continual, daily process and choice to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

    I try and ask the Lord to show me who He created people to be, not what they’ve become, when ministering to people or even in the day to day business of living in this world.
    It helps me to see through His eyes and not my own, whose vision so often is flawed.

    No, “Christianity is not easy. Thank God for His grace.”
    Amen. Thank God for His amazing grace!!!

    Blessings to you David, and thank you for the post!
    I hope you’ll find the time to write more often. 🙂

    Susan

    Reply
  6. garmentofpraise

    Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. I’d been trying to blog about this very subject and just couldn’t get the right words out-you did it for me! Thank you. “Rather we are to love them for what they are; a creation of God”-I think we so easily forget that. We view people who cause distruction in our lives as a little less then humans when in reality they are just as loved by God as we are.

    Reply
  7. CK

    It’s interesting to see how many people and how many similar reactions you have here… maybe what you’re talking about is a sort of epidemic?

    Reply
  8. Evi

    “The reality is the life Christ has called us to is not humanly possible.”

    For this quote alone I will continue reading your blog. I have come across too many Christian blogs that will not acknowledge this when I need to hear it so badly. Thank you.

    “But these are the people that Jesus commands us to love. These are the very people that Christ hung out with.” It’s not hard to remember this if you read your Bible … but so many Christians don’t … and so they don’t. But even if we do … it’s hard to love someone who has done so much harm to us. It’s a test. A definite test. Jesus loved them … I want to be like Jesus … why shouldn’t I love them? *shrug*

    “We certainly don’t invite them to church.” The first few times I did. Then I stopped because I kept getting turned down. It’s hard to keep asking when we’re turned down – we’re taught to just stop – I have to learn to continue.

    “Christianity is not easy.” This is what drew me here. Thank you.

    Lord, please bless David & his life; he has drawn me nearer to You. Amen

    Reply
    1. Debbie

      I think a very very important thing to do is to also intercede on behalf of them…I have so many testimonies of God hearing my cries on behalf of people. And the desire is not mine, it’s The Lord’s. Prayer is extremely powerful, as you share the gospel through words and your life, don’t forget to pray, pray, pray. Some say God hears when we pray once and I agree but I just keep praying for them that The Holy Spirit will convict their hearts and that seeds will be planted.They of course still have free will to choose or reject Christ. Anyway, to God be all the glory! It’s a lifelong lesson learning how to truly love others the way God desires us to.

      Reply
  9. Chuck

    Sorry ..but I must disagree.hope this is ok { -; but Proverbs tells us that the “Way of the transgressor is hard.” Jesus said His yoke is EASY and is burden is light..Apart from the Holy Spirit.the walk is impossible..but compared with the road of the transgressor..our road is easy..We have a shpherd who cares for us , leads us beside still waters and even in hard times annints us and feeds us in the presence of our enemies..Sure..there are giants in the land but I stand with Caleb and Joshuah wo says “Our God is able.” The Christian walk is a blessed walk..Been a Christian since Oct. 1976.
    CHuck

    Reply
  10. Debbie

    Yes it’s not easy but thank God He has given us every fathomable provision necessary, in particular, The Holy Spirit. When I realized I was making my walk with Christ pretty much impossible by not completely trusting God and not relying completely on The Holy Spirit, it got much easier, the way I imagine God would prefer but still not easy. God had me learn the very hard way (I’m very stubborn) that I am unfathomably weak when I walk by my own strength.
    I’m SO looking forward to Heaven/New Jerusalem, when our moment to moment battle with the world, the flesh, the evil kingdom will be over!!! Of course, it comes an infinitely distant second to seeing Lord Jesus Christ and being with Him forever!

    The walk with Christ during and especially after this life is more than worth it in ways words can never express. I really like your blog, God bless!!!!

    Reply

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