While reading through the Word today, I came across this passage.
To all those currently stressing about job searching, relocating, wondering what to do post-graduation (myself very much included):
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.
What About Us?
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of these eager followers of Jesus in the first century. What if I were the potential disciple being told to drop my nets? What if you were the man whom Jesus told to not even say good bye to his family? What if we were told to hate our families and give up everything we had in order to follow Jesus?
This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.
But we don’t want to believe it. We are afraid of what it might mean for our lives. So we rationalize these passages away. “Jesus wouldn’t really tell us not to bury our father or say good bye to our family. Jesus didn’t literally mean to sell all we have and give it to the poor. What Jesus really meant was…”
And this is where we need to pause. Because we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.
A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.
But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshipping ourselves.
-Radical, David Platt
Tonight is my last night in Denmark and my amazing four months of studying abroad will end. Tomorrow I’ll be on my 28-hour-journey back home to California.
As I’m packing, the thought of saying good bye to my host family tomorrow seems like such a daunting task. Good byes are always so difficult.
Words cannot describe how thankful and blessed I am for a host family that showered me with so much love and hospitality.
Bjarne, Hanne, Frederik, and Sofie: Thank you all for allowing me to share these unforgettable four months with you. Thank you for being my second family and providing a genuine home away from home.