A reader wrote to me expressing her disgust over the fact so many “people today just want to live a Christianity of convenience.” I share her frustration. The reality is Christianity is never a convenient way to live. If it is, I guarantee you do not understand what it means to follow Jesus. The gospel of Jesus will never be popular or convenient. To follow Jesus is to live at odds with society and the surrounding culture.
In my lifetime, this has never been more obvious than in the last few years. Christians around the world are murdered every day simply because of their faith. Even in the West, Christians are now being arrested for praying silently to themselves. The culture now views followers of Christ as threats to society. I’d say that’s a less-than-convenient way for us to live.
Many of those who wish to live a Christianity of convenience are those who sit near us in Church each Sunday. They seem like they have their lives together and profess to know Jesus, but once the service is over, they are back living like everyone else, talking about what everyone else is talking about, and pursuing the things of this world. They’ll admit to being a Christian among other believers, but probably shy away from such admissions when they are around the water cooler or in the boardroom. Better to keep that part of their life separate and preserve what they have.
To anyone thinking they can live a Christianity of convenience, let’s review a few important facts from God’s Word. Jesus said the world will hate us (Matthew 10:22). We’ll face trouble in this world (John 16:33). If we want to live like Christ, we should recognize we may be poor and homeless (Matthew 8:20). To live like Jesus, we will need to be meek, merciful, gentle, sorrowful, insulted, lied about, and persecuted (Matthew 5:3-11). I’m not sure about you, but I’m having trouble figuring out how this is in any way a convenient way to live.
Living for Jesus will never be convenient. Those who think it will be are deceiving themselves. They think they can live fully absorbed with the things of this world, show up on Sundays for church, and be alright in God’s eyes. A verse I seem to quote in almost every article these days dispels such a myth. John reminds us if we love the things of this world, then there is no love of God within us (1 John 2:15). If you live your life as a Christianity of convenience, the Bible is clear there is no place in Heaven for you.
While the word has been co-opted, redefined, abused, and misused, the true meaning of being a Christian is to live just like Jesus. To call oneself a Christian is to proclaim there is no distinction between the way Jesus lives and the way you pursue life. We won’t be perfect like He is, but we will seek first His Kingdom. We will serve and follow Him alone. It is not a convenient life, but it is the only way to live in light of eternity and our great King.