Someone told me this past week that being a Christian was “really not that hard.” He pointed out that all Christ asks us to do is love God and love others. Just two simple requests. It’s nothing. Anyone can do that. I found myself looking for a big red button and a box of office supplies.
But I’m a reasonable person and I can understand his logic. Just love. That sounds nice. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I picture two people laughing and getting along. Maybe they are of different backgrounds and different beliefs. Maybe there’s even coffee involved and the promise to get together again soon. Who wouldn’t want a part of that? Even non-Christians long for community, friendship and acceptance.
So this is what perplexes me to the point of insomnia sometimes. If being a Christian is so easy-let’s just love everything about everybody- why don’t more people want to be Christians?
The fact is that love is hard. And Jesus’ love, the real true meaning of love, isn’t as pretty as modern love. The kind of love Jesus displayed is sacrificial and sometimes doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies. His love requires discipline as with a child. That often hurts, but is always worth it in the end.
Being a Christian is all about having an honest relationship with and knowing Jesus. It’s not about being satisfied just to know about him. Even Satan knows about him. Being a Christian means digging deep. Investing life. It’s a change within ourselves to want to be more like Jesus. And we can’t stop because his love compels us to love him back and want more. Do more. Just like those friends over coffee, He’s longing for community, friendship and the acceptance of Him. All of Him. Not just the parts that feel good. The real genuine Jesus. But we treat Jesus like a $5.99 lunch buffet and pick and choose the parts we like the best out of the most beautiful, brutal and heroic love story of all time. Doing so has made the entire story false and causes the truth to be harder and harder to find. In a world that is bombarded with lies, deceit, betrayal, injustice and hate, love has become the quietest force of all. Almost forgotten and unrecognizable. That’s tragic. He wants us to dive in and soak up every drop of the grace he poured out from the cross. That takes effort and time that a lot of us are not willing to give.
Being a Christian isn’t that easy, my friend. We are being killed, tortured, persecuted and mocked even still today. Families are torn apart and held captive. Loved ones are beheaded in the name of a man who walked this earth over 2000 years ago.
So if it’s really not that easy why would anyone want to be a Christian anyway? To know Jesus is to want to tell the world about Him. That’s why we can’t sit down and shut up. Even in the persecution, in the mocking and in our trials His love is perfect. His love is so beautiful and endures forever. We can’t help but want to share it. Psalm 136
To know Jesus is to have a friend who will never betray you, walk away from you, or disappoint you. I am not sure about you, but in my short 38 years I have had my share of those who have walked out, lied to me and certainly have disappointed me. Jesus never has and never will. Deuteronomy 31:6
To know Jesus is to never be concerned for my life. Have you taken a look at the news lately? This world doesn’t seem to be the safest place to call home. Thank goodness I am only passing through. And I am confident that if anything should happen to me I will still live for eternity with my One True Love in heaven. John 3:16
To know Jesus is to be able to not have to worry about anything. My children. My finances. My health. That is just my small list of things I tend to worry about. But knowing that I’ve got Jesus on my side and He has my best interest held in the palm of His hand? Well, I take comfort in that. Psalm 55:22
To know Jesus is to find forgiveness for everything. I tend to beat myself up. A lot. I forget grace very easily and it is very hard for me to accept mercy. Thank goodness Jesus specializes in forgiveness. All I have to do it ask. 1 John 1:9
To know Jesus is to have joy that cannot be taken away. This isn’t something I can describe in writing. It’s just something you’ll have to experience for yourself. And I hope that you do. Because the joy is what drives us through all the hard parts. John 16:22
To know Jesus is to have the hope and knowledge that no matter what garbage is in this world today, no matter what evil lurks around the corner, no matter what issue is driving the media, in the end He wins! Romans 14:11