I think you can follow Jesus and still be a unique, complicated individual. I think that’s the only way to authentically live. To be yourself. Lately, I’ve run into situations where I feel the need to be someone I’m naturally not, just for the sake of appearing to be a Christ follower to the world.
Here is the truth. I don’t always make it to church on Sunday. My favorite bands are Deftones, Korn and Radiohead, a far cry from hymns and choir songs. I like to spend time with all kinds of people, most of which do not share my beliefs. I make inappropriate jokes a lot of the times and often don’t even come close to living the way I should according to what Jesus wants for me.
But doesn’t He already know this? If I lived in the time when He was ministering to people on earth, He would have probably had to call me out of a tree too. The issues I struggle with are the same as everyone else regardless if they admit that or not.
Here is the thing. Jesus loves us all. Regardless of where we are at. He wants your heart to be pure and your intentions to be genuine, above all else He wants you to love. To love Him with everything you have and then love other people with the same sincerity. No matter who they are, what they believe, or how they act. Just love them.
This is not easy and it never will be. You will grow and change and become wiser with time, but you will still struggle with this forever because it’s in our very nature to do the complete opposite.
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This is why we need a God that is real and true and is the epitome of love. We are not able to love perfectly on our own. Someone must pick up the slack. The more we try to model a life-like Jesus, one that loves others and encourages them, I think we will find a better balance between radical Christianity and “watered down” versions.
Love God and love others. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you must be a mindless drone with no personal sense of self. It is the complete opposite, in fact. You don’t have to abandon your beliefs to reach unbelievers. Never be so narrow in your faith that you won’t even entertain the idea of associating with people who differ from you. Never be so radical that you deter people from even considering exploring your faith. Speak the truth and never falter from it, but do so with love and kindness. The greatest act you can do is walk among those who are still sleeping and, by your light, guide them to something greater than themselves. This doesn’t always happen, but when it does it is magical.
Don’t ever let someone make you feel “uncool” for being a Christian, and don’t ever convince yourself you are somehow above a non-believer for being a Christian. Just try to be more like Jesus every day.