(1 John 4:17b – “…because as He is, so are we in this world”)
Jesus Christ is applauded and ‘agreed’ with, but his teachings do not affect how we live during the week because we have to be reasonable, right? I mean, our time is too precious, our agendas too pressing, our entertainment so necessary, our ambitions so important that Jesus must surely understand and He can’t actually expect us be all about this Bible stuff and risk our reputations, friendships, associations and goals for His sake, can he? Surely, common sense tells us we should not go ‘overboard’ and become ‘religious fanatics’ and risk being labelled by others or risk becoming irrelevant in the Church, right? After all, Jesus Christ Himself was crucified for not having a more accommodating approach in his utterances, expectations and in his Theology so maybe it is no wonder that when we go to Church or manage to attend Bible study, we pick and choose the comfortable, cost-less, conventional, clean, crisp, cultural ‘Christianity’ that doesn’t demand, interfere or alter our living and we leave out the challenging, Christ-centered, costly, conditional, corporate, committed, concerned, crucified life that for some reason the Bible says is only possible when you are ‘dead’ yet at the same time alive in Him.
Yes, I am describing me and you who upon examination may find that it is possible that we have a form of Godliness but are denying its power on Monday morning. We claim to identify with Christ but are we really Christlike? We wants God to comfort us and give us more comforts while we continue to conform to this world while giving no care to the concerns He communicates in His word. We claim not to be like the prodigal son who parted from his father to plunder his property on prostitutes but our prayers are predicated on the problems that are pretty much the pursuit of possession, power and popularity for our own pleasure. That speaks of the poverty of our profession of faith meaning a failure to follow fully. We forget that we are like the older brother who stayed at home but never realized that he wasn’t actually faithful to his father for His father’s sake but was faithful for the sake of the future fun of a fattened calf with his friends and for that he slaved in the field and sadly remained lost, not found. Don’t we see that we have created conditions for our ‘commitment’ that do not coincide with the Christianity connected with Christ whom we confess. And if we truly follow, we are to be disciples, and if disciples, then demands on you and I abound, demands that require discipline and denial, dethronement and devotion, maybe even death. For it has been said that a servant will not be greater than his master.
No, I am not trying to dampen your day or denigrate your devotion or deny your destination but please help me if I am wrong that many of us are mostly motionless in the pews (worship) mission-less in our priorities (work) and mindless of people (witness).
I am not asking you to reach for a robe or slip on some sandals or walk on water.
I am asking all of us, as the people who God calls ‘my people’ to change from measuring ourselves with the ‘messed up’ sinner, the immature servant or the maverick saint and all others in-between. Let us instead let Christ be our measure for it is written ‘As he is, so are we in this world.’