“The easiest thing in the world is to be a Christian. What is hard is to be a sinner. Being a Christian is what we were created for.” – Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, 111.
Skeptics, atheists, cynics, and unbelievers often cast Christianity as a legalistic burden, a lifestyle of “No’s” and a choice for bondage. It’s the proverbial “crutch” for the weak to lean on.
Well, perhaps it’s time for those same voices to look around and see the fruit of recklessness. Our insistence on autonomy and independence (call it “freedom of speech” or “civil liberties”) has successfully reaped a storm. We sow rampant greed and we reap corruption. We sow illicit sex and we reaped family chaos. We sow gratuitous violence and we reap abuse and hostility.
Peterson nailed it.
The choice for lifelong faithful marriage is far easier than the heartache and heartbreak of abandoned vows, open hostility, estrangement from our children, and more. The choice for honesty and integrity has a cost but deception and lies consume our souls like cancer. Integrity never has to lurk in the shadows or look over its shoulder.
Peterson goes on to write: “The life of faith has the support of an entire creation and the resources of a magnificent redemption…. It is not Christians who have it hard, but non-Christians.”
He’s absolutely right.
Those who follow earnestly after Christ know the blessing of the Son who saves us, the Holy Spirit who indwells us, and the angels of God who protect us.
On the other hand, those who reject Christ live more alone than anyone else on this planet. Sin has a voracious and insatiable appetite and produces nothing but hurts that disfigure us, habits that imprison us, and hang-ups that isolate us.
Of course, the world works hard to present an illusion. “Sin is fun,” they say. “Live it up a while,” they urge. But these are invitations to drink poison. Such cajoling might as easily (and more honestly) declare, “Throw yourself into this ditch” and “Destroy this part of your soul.”
To follow Jesus is not to walk in the way of suppression but freedom. Who in their right mind would choose the carnage of sin?
Facing a battle today? Choose Christ. Choose life. “Do not let sin reign over you.” (Romans 6:12)