I’ve started a new blog at www.droppingtheact.com. Check it out for the latest content.
I had a theological discussion with my plumber last week. As he was bent over my porcelain commode he explained that he had been raised in a very traditional religious environment, one that he still faithfully adheres to. But he looked at me and said, “Reading the New Testament, I saw all of these people willing to give their lives for the Gospel, and I thought I must be missing something because I’m not willing to do that.”
His words stopped me cold. It reminded me of a question that’s been looming in the back of my mind, a question that makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I’d really rather not answer. Am I passionate enough about Jesus that I would literally lay my life down for him and his message?
It’s an easy question to dismiss sitting here in the comfort of my leather chair with blankets tucked tight around me and snow swirling outside my window. Without any thought or contemplation I would flippantly answer, “Yes, of course I would.” But when I really think about it, about the way I live my life, my real answer, not with my words, but my actions and attitudes, has been no.
I hold things back. I decide what’s most comfortable or safe for me and my family. In general, I give very little thought and devote even less prayer to asking Jesus what he really wants from me because I might not like his answer. I want to do what’s most convenient and comfortable for me.
It’s very easy for those of us who “give our lives” to serving Jesus in a church setting here in America, where we don’t face the daily reality of martyrdom that some followers of Jesus do, to forget how high the stakes really are, about the level of commitment that Jesus calls us to and why (hint: it’s because he’s crazy in love with us and wants us to love him that way too). Please understand, I’m not belittling the American church at all. But I do believe that God is calling us to a deeper love that will happily sacrifice anything we can to get closer to him and to draw others towards him as well.
I’m learning he is worth so much more–of everything that I have, my time, my money, my talents–than I can ever give. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to give it. I want my words and my actions and attitudes to scream, “Yes, I’ll give it all–whatever you ask!” Because he is so worth it!
Have you asked yourself that same question? Would I really give my life for Jesus?
What is your honest answer?