Many of us are Christian—or at least, we’re happy to default to that label. Because we’re all Christians, here are the easiest ways to be a Christian:
- Only speak about your faith on Sundays.
- Believe it’s purely about being a good person.
- Don’t be afraid to contradict your Christian values in the workplace.
- Follow tradition on Sunday, but follow ambition the rest of the days.
- Turn to your faith only in hard times.
- Go on mission trips as an excuse to go to a foreign country, do bold, caring things, and then tell your friends all about it when you get home. Leave God out of the picture.
- Give into your road rage. You are obviously right, and the other drivers are wrong.
- Don’t escape your comfort zone. Let people do their own thing without your intervention. What matters is that you are not challenged to do something you don’t want to do.
- Waste your time worrying about money.
- Make faith a matter of self-help motivation, a string of memes plastered on your social media about how God wants you to have the most in life.
- Keep secrets. Fight to keep them secret. Believe time will bury and heal those secrets.
- Be completely comfortable to not go to church—because faith is a personal thing, right?
- Judge people who talk about deep matters of faith. Theology is messy subjects to touch anyways. What matters is that you do the Christian thing, not about talking about these complicating aspects to faith.
- Try to backpedal when conversations get too spiritual.
- Treat the pastor like he’s a superhuman to impress with your “good citizenship” badges.
- Go to church with your family, but when you live on your own, neglect the role of church. Be Christian only by association to your parents.
- Tell others to pray for you, but don’t pray yourself.
- Convince your non-Christian boyfriend or girlfriend to come to church with you to impress your parents, and nothing more.
- Avoid reading your Bible in public.
- Skirt around all the negative aspects of Christianity. Back away when people are offensive with Christianity. Show that you’re not THAT kind of Christian instead of showing the gentleness and compassion of Christ.
- Think about all the things you don’t have before giving thanks for all the things God has blessed you with.
- Blow up at people. Don’t resolve the problem. Let yourself get bitter. Forget about the bitterness and the scars it’s left on you. Hope that solves the problem.
- Spend money as a consolation to your problems. Don’t seek a deeper solution to your pain. Numb it with the ephemeral glamour of new stuff.
- Let your Christianity be nothing more than checking off boxes each week.
- Live most of your life chasing self-actualization pursuits of career, image, and consumerism. Don’t sidestep from these pursuits. Always seek to give to yourself before giving to others.
- Let people reap the consequences of their choices. Don’t dirty your hands with their mess. Stand firm when they beg and plead for help.
- Don’t read this article. Don’t be challenged by it. Instead, choose to be offended. After all, offense doesn’t require change on your part.
As you can see, if we simply take the easiest way to be a Christian, we’ll hardly be Christian at all—at least, not in the way God designed Christianity to be.
Mediocrity is the sum of all the times we choose to take the easy path with our faith.
The difficult path to being a Christian is to live like Jesus. This means we care for the profit of others over ourselves. This means we talk about, think about, and live out our faith Sunday through Saturday. This means we have a faith that’s concerned about making a difference in the world, not for our sake, but for the sake of others. This means we are reaching into people’s lives, not being passive in our relationships. This means we feel significance in what Jesus has done for us, not in what our image or wealth says about us. This means we cultivate relationships that touch the deepest parts of us, not the parts we shed like fashion. This means we make forgiveness a reflex over our anger. This means we live intentionally in every sphere of life—because that’s what the reach of our faith should be.
It’s easy to live like everyone else. It’s harder to live like Jesus.
Unfortunately, as Christians, we’re not called to do the easy thing. We’re called to do the difficult thing. Let’s not shy away from this life. If we call ourselves Christians, let’s resolve to practice it in the way it’s meant to be lived.
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