It’s easy to talk the talk. It’s easy to say that we’d give up EVERYTHING for Christ and let go of all the values of this world and find pure joy in holding on to Jesus alone. We Christians are really good at spouting jargon about laying down our lives, bearing the cross, denying ourselves, putting everything at the feet of Jesus, etc…
But when it comes down to it, can we? Are we willing to? Do we really? When push comes to shove, are we willing to give up that extra spending money for God, or that 4.0 (3.95 if we’re being more realistic)? Are we actually willing to put some things aside because God is taking precedence over every part of our lives? I don’t just mean that we talk about putting God first and then proceed to skip reading the Word or praying for days at a time in order to get an A on an assignment. I’m not talking about denying ourselves by spending two hours playing games instead of the usual three, in favor of 10 more minutes of prayer and 50 more minutes on catching up on the work that we’d originally neglected to do.
Jesus told us many times. Following him requires sacrifice. suffering. pain. weariness. strife. For me, in my privileged, first-world-problem life, I’m often fooled into thinking that getting a B in a class instead of an A qualifies as suffering. That’s what inspired this post in the first place; the fact that I’m not doing as well academically as I was before because I chose to focus on ministry-related things instead of school for the last two weeks. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, to be honest. And that is….paltry. Getting lower than a 4.0 at a prestigious university is hardly a sacrifice — yet I’m having so much trouble even giving that up for God.
It’s time for me (and we) to practice what we preach and tell ourselves every day. Time to believe and act on it. Let’s actually live our lives for Christ.