Many times, I am being hunted by the question, “Does Jesus endorse my life-style?” If He does not, then do I have the right to regard myself as being a Christian? Let us think about it.
I did ponder a bit and I do not have anything to show that deserves an endorsement. I have suffered physically as well as materially, but never for Jesus. I never had to take a stand for Him or suffer in His behalf. When I joined His Church, I began to defend the Lord mentally. Only it all began out of fear that I may not get to heaven because of my youthful pranks. The worst I ever did was go swimming on Sunday and hunt rabbits in a wheat fields. I come from a very strict religious background. I could not move for fear of not offending the Lord. The liberties that Christians take today were unheard of where I came from. Please, do not hold it against me when I am amused at the promises clergy make to their parishioners when they get to heaven. I too have been guilty of being generous on behalf of Jesus.
What kind of a life am I supposed to live? For openers, it has nothing to do with health, prosperity or even living in a land of religious liberty. Such an environment may even hinder me from being a follower of Jesus. Rather it is living in a hostile environment; yet remain faithful to live and do what is right. Jesus gave us some hints that are both simple and difficult. His followers were not to covet, hate, or retaliate. They were to walk a second mile, turn the other cheek and do not let the left hand know what the right does. They were to be inconspicuous in giving, loving, and serving. They were not to judge, look for faults or make unnecessary promises. They were not to be too proud to ask, seek and knock when in need. And they were to pray and fast in secret, but do good deeds in public so that others shall be led to praise God (Matthew 5-7).
The Sermon on the Mount appears to be unobtainable perfection (Matthew 5:48). Conveniently, it has been relegated to a Millennial Kingdom. Jesus held that the Kingdom was already active in the world and so were His Ethics. In His Commission, we were not ordered to make perfect saints, but disciples and learners (MMatthew 28:19). By the grace of God and the love of Christ, I too am still a learner. I invite my readers to embark on a similar course. Perhaps we shall hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, 23).