Two questions have occupied my thoughts for some time now. Simple questions. Questions that can receive easy, trite, and mechanical responses from the average Christian. But to think them through, based on what Jesus did and said and taught, cause far reaching implications. Even as far as to say that to really think them through you will find yourself at questions that cannot easily be answered (I will venture to say that most of these hard questions have to do with the treatment of human life). Remember, it’s easy to say we believe in Jesus, much harder to truly follow him and live by what he said. So…
How far am I willing to be remade to exemplify the nature of Christ?
How much do I really believe in the life to come?
How far am I willing to be remade to exemplify the nature of Jesus…even if it is entirely counter-cultural? Even if it does not make any logical sense? Even if it is beyond my understanding? Even if it turns out to be different than I have always thought? Even if it is different than the way everyone has always done it? Even if it trumps nationalism? Even if it is surprising? Even if it puts me at a disadvantage?
How far you are willing to go will be guided by the second question: How much do I really believe in the life to come? Our worry is not to gain the whole world now, lest we lose our soul. But rather to live in such a way that we believe in the life to come so much we are willing to lose, if necessary, this world (and lose at the game it plays) as it is now.
For example, maybe a place to start with these questions, and there are certainly many places, can be Matthew 5:3-12- the Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Not necessarily an easy place to start, but will get you into the mix of things rather quickly…
Here is a quote attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien (yeah, the Lord of the Rings guy), “Living by faith includes the call to something greater than cowardly self-preservation.” I think that is a good, thought provoking, place to close.