When it Feels Hard to be a Christian

October 10, 2012

in Everyday Jesus,Everyday Words

“It’s hard to be a Christian.”  He says it matter of fact-ly as he colors in pastels.

“Why’s that?”

“Because it’s so easy to be bad.”  

“Oh sweet boy, you know it’s only people that know this one fact–that it’s so easy to be bad—it’s only those people that have hope at being a Christian.  Those are the only people with a chance to be saved by Jesus.”

“You have to know how easy it is for you to be bad before you can know how hard Christ must’ve worked to give you a chance at having Him and all His goodness inside.”

“Jesus loves bad people,” I say it, trying to believe it myself.  “He was always hanging out with them.”

“Didn’t Jesus love sick people too?”  He asks rubbing his chin with seven stitches freshly sewn on Sunday.”

“Of course, he does.”

“Good,” he grins, scratches and bruises and scabs and all.  “Then that means he loves being with me.”

“True!  And you know what?  That’s the secret.  That’s the reason it’s not really hard to be a Christian after all.  Because Jesus loves us even though we’re bad, He will come and be with us if we only ask.  And guess what happens when He’s right here?”

“What?”

“He changes us.  He comes inside with all His good and slowly, slowly pushes out all the bad.  He comes inside with all His health and slowly, slowly gets rid of all the disease and yuck.”

“You know, you saying that being a Christian is hard because you know it’s so easy to be bad gives me lots of good hope for you.”

“Really?”

“The first step to getting well is realizing we’re sick, like when you fell on your bike and saw all that blood.  You knew you needed help.  And help is what you got.  We’ll never be Christians unless we see ourselves as bad and in trouble.

“Knowing how hard it is to be good keeps us right here with Jesus, always knowing we need help, always asking for it, and always watching Him turn our bad into His good.”

But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”  Luke 3:16-17

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