For many people the Christian life seems difficult. You’re trying. Really, you are! But much of the time it feels so stressful. There are some things you know you should be doing that you just aren’t very good at. And the other things you’d like to do you’re really not supposed to be doing. You try to knuckle down and push yourself to make it work. But that’s just it: it’s work!
Perhaps you feel like our grandson. He was about three and a half years old, and his daddy was trying to teach him to be respectful and obedient even when he didn’t feel like it. After struggling for several minutes he sighed and in a somewhat teary voice said, “It’s so tough!” If you feel like the Christian life is just so tough, who can blame you for getting tired, frustrated, and weary of the whole thing?
That perspective sees the Christian life as work. There’s a list of things to do and not do. And just like with any job, there are performance evaluations. Some people perform better than others, and there are sometimes arguments over what should be on those “to do and not to do” lists.
Seeing the Christian life as work will always make it seem difficult. It may help keep you out of jail, but it certainly won’t be much fun.
Let me suggest a much more engaging way to look at things. Rather than work, consider the Christian life as part of a very great drama. Think of what you know of the Bible. God creates a world full of beauty. But the people He creates soon turn on Him and align with His enemy. Violence, tragedy, and almost unbelievable sub-plots fill the pages of the Old Testament.
Then comes the story of Jesus. He steps into this ugly world with a measure of authority, strength, and love that astounds everyone. His death and resurrection begin a movement among His followers that turns the world upside down. And we know the end of the story: good triumphs over evil in the ultimate “happily ever after.”
So where do you fit into this drama? That becomes the engaging, even exciting, part. The decisions you make right now, today, really DO make a difference. They impact such big questions as whose side in this drama has your allegiance. And they may affect how others around you play out their roll as well.
So next time you struggle with how tough the Christian life seems, ask yourself what part of the drama you may be in right now. You do have a very important roll!
And don’t forget: we know the end of the story. Jesus is going to win!
On the most recent Dr Carol Show we talk about the Christian life, and address questions such as:
- What does it mean to be a Christian?
- How would others know you are a Christian?
- What is the difference between internal and external Christianity?
- What is the most important ingredient leading to an internal heart transformation?
We include your responses, and talk with a caller who has a very strong opinion about what the Christian life really means. The three-minute Saturday Memo gives some specific highlights, as in this post. And the full archive is available here.
The Scriptures mentioned during the program:
- Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Your Turn: Does seeing your Christian life as part of a drama help put things in perspective? What roll do you see yourself playing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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