Do we make our job as Christians harder than it has to be?
I have shared that Christianity is not easy. Jesus told us in Matthew 7:14 that the "way is hard." It ought to be the hardest job you've got, but I also think that we make it harder than it has to be.
Let me give you an example. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said, "... seek first the kingdom of God ..." Matthew 6:33 is a filter. Put God first and you will solve a lot of the problems in your life. Matthew 6:33 will simplify your life and it will cut through the clutter and the distractions. Matthew 6:33 is a tool that will help you easily make decisions and eliminate the wood, hay and stubble (1st Corinthians 3:12) in your life. Wood, hay and stubble are the things that we tend to put before God and build our lives around and build our lives with, and one day when we are judged (2 Corinthians 5:10) they will burn up and we may end up with nothing to show for our lives. In essence we will have wasted our life, the life God gave us and the life Christ died for (John 3:16, 10:10).
All of this reminds me of how many times I walked into a classroom when I was in school and an assignment was due and I had failed to do the work. I was there but I did not have anything to turn in. I was embarrassed and because the roads to both heaven and hell are filled with good intentions. I would use my embarrassment to tell myself this will never happen again, but guess what? Next time it was the same. I was too busy with extracurricular activities to be focused on academics, ha - at least that’s what I thought.
I just got through leading a study on 2nd Timothy with a group of people I love, and we learned that the Apostle Paul told Timothy to "fulfill your ministry (2nd Timothy 4:5)" - in other words, do your job. Complete the work God has given you, but in order to do this, you are going to have to get rid of any unnecessary things in your life because what is not necessary can become a hindrance to this work.
Over and over in Scripture, we are told that we should be living as exiles, strangers in this culture and that our lives, the way we live should be different. And yet if we looked at our bank accounts, our social media accounts and our calendars, we live exactly like the culture. I like Pastor David Platt’s book titled, "Something Needs To Change." Amen, amen. May it start with me, and may it start today. What Paul told Timothy was what Jesus is telling us in Matthew 6:33, "Keep God First (my paraphrase)." He told me to tell you that.