It is virtually impossible to be a disciple of Jesus Christ without living a life of self-discipline. Following Jesus means our focus shifts from being self-focused to others-focused. While this sounds noble and good, it is ridiculously difficult to implement. Our culture has so indoctrinated us with the pursuit of things we “need” and “deserve” that it becomes extremely easy to rationalize spending our time and money on things of earth rather than Heaven. Even within the church there are those that preach that following Jesus leads to prosperity and good fortune. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches (2 Timothy 3:12; Luke 9:58); serving God is all about thinking less of ourselves and more of others.
We are called to live humble lives, sharing what we have with others (Ephesians 4:1-3; Acts 4:32-35). It becomes important that we learn to differentiate between our wants and our needs. Beyond food, basic shelter, and clothing, there is little we truly need. Still we do not hesitate to spend large sums of money on the latest gadgets or yet another pair of shoes. How much do we spend eating out each week or on “occasional” snacks or desserts? Everyone around us does these things, so why shouldn’t we indulge in them as well? The answer is that we are not everyone else. We are called to be separate, to be distinct within our world (John 15:17-19; Romans 12:2). When our lives look like those of everyone else, we lose the opportunity to tell them why a life lived for Jesus is so special and different.
The problem most of us have is that we desire to follow Jesus but simply can’t let go of the things of this world. We are inundated with temptation, advertising, and information. Life speeds by at a blurring pace and we do what we can simply not to get left behind. I think the speed of modern society is a great tool of Satan. I don’t for a minute believe that technology is evil, but I do believe Satan is leveraging it in ways that are distracting us from our mission. Quick question: have you spent more time in prayer or on Facebook today? Have you connected with more people face to face or on Twitter?
It’s not uncommon to see groups of people milling around, all of them heads down staring at their phones. No one is looking around. How can we possibly hope to notice those in need if we don’t ever look around us? I understand technology can be used to reach more people for Christ; the fact that you are reading this blog proves that I am making use of technology for this very reason. The question I have to ask is whether or not we are focused more on reaching others with technology or simply keeping up with the Joneses. We each must answer that question for ourselves.
Where are you spending your time and money? In what way are you making use of technology? Whatever has your attention has you. We must discipline ourselves to always be focused on Jesus. Every purchase, every use of our time should be run through the filter of “Does this advance the Kingdom of God?” There is nothing we need except for Him. There is nothing worth pursuing except for His gracious love. Don’t let your culture distract you from what is truly important. Make Jesus the center of everything you do.
What parts of our culture do you find the most distracting from your mission of living for Jesus? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.