When I accepted Christ seven years ago I had a lot of faulty thinking. Most was born from what I had learned about American Christianity throughout the years…
I knew a lot about religion, but very little about Christ.
I think that there was one thought that permeated everything religious I had ever touched. And it goes a little something like this…
“If you believe in God, and you try to live right, good things will happen to you here on earth…”
I truly believe that one half-truth and flawed thinking is responsible for a lot of the heartbreak of the church. It is why people stray and our pews are not full. We make that promise to ourselves early in the game and when it doesn’t work out that way… it leaves us disheartened. It leaves us empty instead of full.
Instant gratification found in the world is not so readily available in the Christian walk.
And the Christian life should be full. Full of joy and peace and hope and love!! Yes to all these things!! But not as some reward to anything that I have done. Simply these things should permeate my life because of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His free gift of eternal life!!
I believe we have made Christianity transactional in a way that it was never destined to be. And we have become like practical atheists.
Because we have no concern for eternal matters. We think because we cannot see it, or taste it, or even really know it is there, that maybe eternity is a concept that we should not even bother with.
Our actions have proven that we don’t actually believe what our mouths are saying. We want our rewards and we want them now. However I think we need to face some very real possibilities…
If you love your husband like Jesus is telling you to… he may never be the man you want him to be. Love him anyway.
If you love your wife in the way Jesus is telling you to… she may never be the woman you want her to be. Love her anyway.
If you treat your boss like Jesus is telling you to do… you may never get treated like you think you ought to. Love them anyway.
If you love the world and share the gospel the way God tells you to… you may get ridiculed and made fun of. Love them anyway.
You may do all the “right things” and never get any positive response at all. That’s not saying that you will not. And that is great when it happens!! But it cannot be the force that drives a Christian.
We cannot let our satisfaction of doing the right thing be “earth results oriented”
Because all these examples lead to heartbreak when things do not work out like we think they should. When life happens.
And plain and simple it is just not what the Bible teaches us.
So many heroes in the faith never realized any gain at all in their time here on earth. As a matter of fact most of the disciples and Paul all faced intense persecution for their beliefs.
Their lives were unbelievably hard. Yet they pressed on. Because to them it was never about this life. About these seventy years that come and go before you know it.
The day you were saved eternity began for you. If you say it is real, then live like it. Or better yet… Love like it starting today.
Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.