When I read my Bible, the definition of a follower of Christ is pretty bold. And definitely clear. A follower of Christ is a disciple…a student of the ways of Jesus. An ambassador of the Kingdom of Jesus. An example of the character of Jesus. A servant with the eyes of Jesus. A representative of the priorities of Jesus. A courier of the love of Jesus. A partner in the work of Jesus. An apprentice who walks in the footsteps of Jesus.
Clear? Yes. An accurate description of people who claim to be christians today? Not so much.
Often, instead of seeing genuine followers of Jesus who seek to emulate the heart and compassion of Jesus in every area of life, I see more and more people who call their own shots, speak their own minds, do what they want with their money, treat people like they deserve to be treated, and live self-absorbed with worry, fear, anger and judgment.
Just like everybody else.
Far too often, being a christian has been reduced to believing certain facts about God…about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins…and following certain moral precepts. Mix in a little church attendance when it’s convenient and make sure you treat other nice people, uh…nice.
And then you get to go to heaven when you die.
Most days, this reality causes me to hover somewhere between really sad and sick to my stomach.
So let me ask you a question. What difference does Jesus really make in your life? Like…for real. If you agree with my take that the picture of a follower of Jesus in the Bible is pretty clear, then why is there such a huge difference between what we read about in the life of a disciple in the Bible and what we see in our world today?
Can you imagine for a moment what it could be like if people who claim to be the people of Jesus actually acted like Jesus…and truly made a thoughtful, honest effort to do the things he told us to do?
Sadly, it’s really hard for me to picture.
I’ll be happier next time…