How many of us claim to be followers of Jesus, yet really have no idea of what Jesus asks of us as his follower? I guess that’s better than knowing and willingly rejecting what he asks.
We have plenty of excuses for not doing what Jesus calls on us to do – maybe we claim to not know the bible. Or that we can’t get to church very often. Maybe we think we’re a good person overall. Maybe work keeps you tied up. Or the kids have soccer practice so very often. Pick your excuse, they all work the same.
Yet the ironic thing is that we, as a society, seem to have very little trouble expressing our political beliefs about any issue, regardless of how truly informed we really are. Opinions on political topics are a dime a dozen. Some of us spend time studying and memorizing political arguments too. We wait with bated breath to hear proclamations of the high priests of our political tribe so we will know what to think about any given subject and accept these proclamations as the gospel truth.
Often, we are willing to go through mental jujitsu when our political high priests contradict themselves – all in an effort to believe we are rational beings in regard to our political beliefs. Too often we make excuses for our political saviors’ actions and words – rationalizing them away. We make excuses for their lies. We make excuses for their past. We make excuses because what we really believe is that the ends justify the means. We give a pass to our political high priests, even when they commit the same exact sin as the political high priests of the other political tribe.
And when we look at faith and religion, we throw the bible aside when we find something that contradicts another passage of Scripture. We use it as an excuse to make our faith unimportant in our daily lives, because it just isn’t rational. No, faith isn’t rational. Faith never claimed to be rational.
Following Jesus is just too difficult, we believe. Without actually knowing what it is Jesus calls on us to do and to be to follow him. We prefer to set Jesus aside. We prefer a savior more to our liking. A savior that we believe will have a bigger impact on our lives directly – more money in our pockets, more services, more protection, more stuff, some way to fill the void in our life. We want that, but we also want a savior that asks nothing of us in return for any of this – a savior that in actuality has no impact on us – in terms of making a change in our lives.
When Jesus offers us discipleship, we claim that it has no bearing on our lives. We really don’t want it to have an impact on our lives. That would mean that we aren’t in control.
Jesus offers us love, being truly fed, forgiveness, peace, joy, mercy, grace, not being alone, resurrection, and actual salvation – things that we can’t get anywhere else.
It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to be honest with who is Lord of our life. It’s time to admit we suck at following Jesus. And it’s time to be embraced by Jesus. It’s time.