A helpful question to ask yourself when pursuing discipleship is, “Am I a better disciple with or without this in my life?” The “this” could be any activity which you pursue. Your “this” might be the name of an individual or group of individuals. It’s a question we should ask ourselves throughout the day until it becomes second nature.
Until we spend our time doing things that make us better disciples, things that make us look more like Jesus, we will never become the person He intends for us to be. The problem is, while many of us might ask this question of ourselves, few of us will do the hard work of changing our behavior to be consistent with the answer to the question.
Every one of us will have a different “this” depending on what season in life the moment finds us. Looking at the culture of our day, we might determine our “this” is social media and/or the news. We should ask, “Am I a better disciple with social media in my life?” The important part is to answer with complete honesty. Don’t rationalize or hedge your answer trying to fit the truth into your preferences. Pursuing discipleship is a hard road filled with difficult decisions, but if we are desperate for our lives to look like Christ, we must be honest with ourselves and with our King.
Still, harder than answering honestly is taking the action the answer requires. Sticking with our social media example, if we know we are a better disciple without it in our lives, what does that mean? Do we limit the time we spend on it or cut it out altogether? That’s what you must pray about and ask God to show you. But once you feel convicted to do something, do it. Right away and with no delay. A hallmark of a disciple is obedience (John 14:21). We do what Jesus commands us to do. Don’t worry about what you may lose. Focus on what you will gain.
Social media is just one example. Others might include watching television or indulging in unhealthy foods. Perhaps it’s smoking, drugs, alcohol, or pornography. Still others might need to ask this question regarding gossiping, lusting, or the way they talk about others in private. The list goes on and on. The point is to ask this question about everything in your life: Are you a better disciple with or without it in your life? In prayer, ask God to show you the answer.
Pursuing discipleship is the adventure of a lifetime. You never know what today might bring, but you know it is always leading to Jesus. Along the way, there will be things, activities, and people that no longer belong in our lives. For the physical things, get rid of them. Jesus is worth far more than anything you have. For the thoughts and activities, replace them with thoughts and activities that honor God and cause others to see Him in you. And for the people you need to remove from your life, don’t stop loving them. Pray for them. You just can’t risk them dragging you away from Jesus by allowing them to remain a part of your life. Filter everything you see, think, and do through the question of, “Am I a better disciple with or without this in my life?” Ask God to show you the answer, and then do whatever the answer demands.