The term Christian is used very loosely in this day and age. For some reason, there is a strong willingness for people to call themselves Christians on Sunday, but ignore the implications of that Monday through Saturday. There are far too many people merely drifting through life this way. Their apathetic attitude and comfortable living style protects them from challenge and risk. The notion of hard work might scare them, especially if it threatens their comfort.
As residents of the greatest country in the history of earth, we have grown accustomed to an extremely high standard of living. Within seconds, I can order a $300 piece of equipment that will arrive at my doorstep in two days. Within 1 mile of where I am currently sitting, I can stuff my face with a premium meal at nearly any price point, and I have a job that provides a constant stream of income for me to make all these things happen.
This isn’t a unique place I find myself in, but it is a dangerous one.
I want to flip the attitude of this lifestyle upside down. If this is common, I want to be uncommon. I refuse to submit to a lukewarm lifestyle that rejects Christ 6 days a week. Christians should Throw Down the Gauntlet in their faith and dive headfirst into the life Christ has planned for us. This means shedding the comforts of the American life and living a life of risk and challenge for Jesus.
1 Timothy 4:7 states, “Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness.” (paraphrased). This is an instruction, not a suggestion. Paul states that Christians are given the responsibility to be godly, and that it requires discipline. Many people are wishy-washy when it comes to their faith, ignoring God’s principles if it interferes with their personal goals. Discipline is a difficult thing, requiring daily workouts and strength training to develop. If a bodybuilder only worked 1 day a week, he would fall behind quickly. The same is true of the modern Christian. The muscles of faith need constant, daily attention, and this world has no shortage of challenges to offer for exercise.
This day and age, we need leaders in the Christian community: people who will step out in faith to defend the word of God, and then live out the example Christ gave us. It’s tempting to fall in line and do as everyone else is doing, but God looks for a different response on our lives. Leading is more than being in charge: it is more about the way you influence others. A laborer in the trench of a construction operation is just as capable of being a leader as the CEO of Lifeway – it just depends on your influence. Influence is good or bad, and that is up to you to decide. Live by the principles Christ has given us, and it is impossible NOT to influence others. Jesus shows us how to be a light, and this world is extremely dark.
Being a light in an otherwise dark world will threaten the comfortable. Standing for what you believe, especially when it is counter-culture will invite conflict. Conflict is actually a good thing, as it opens the opportunity to glorify God, depending on our reaction to the conflict. You can choose to react negatively, and sin in your response to it. Or, you could exercise your muscles of endurance and act godly throughout the circumstances. Whatever it is, the opportunity is there.
So the choice is yours, Modern Christian. Do you choose to conform to the world and give in to your every desire, or do you choose Christ and Throw Down the Gauntlet in faith? Choose one or the other, but at least make a choice and stick to it.