Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3376

Jump Start # 3376

Matthew 5:39 “But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

  Let’s be honest, Christianity is not convenient, easy or simple. Those who try to make it that way, miss the message, and blend in too much with the world. Being a light in a dark world, draws attention. Swimming upstream in a downstream flowing culture is not easy. We are presented with pressures at work, in the family and just trying to quietly live our lives.

  I want to focus upon the inconvenient aspect of Christianity. It’s not convenient being a Christian. For instance, Jesus said, from our verse today, ‘whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.’ That’s not easy physically. That’s not easy emotionally or mentally. When slapped, our hand naturally closes into a fist. We are ready to defend. The Rambo mentality comes out of us. The Lord said, ‘turn the other cheek.’ Man, that’s hard.

  It’s easy being a sinner. It’s easy being lost. Just do whatever you feel like doing without any thought about others, consequences or even tomorrow. But a disciple doesn’t live like a sinner. He’s thinking about tomorrow. He’s thinking about consequences, influences and what the Lord wants him to do.

  In many ways it reminds me of golf lessons. You’d think, just grab a club and smack the ball. Seems simple. Try it. It’s not. Your feet must be positioned just right. Your knees bent, just right. Your arms straight. Your grip, just right. Running through your head are all those thoughts. Is my back straight? Keep you head down. Keep your eyes on the ball. So many thoughts…

  The disciple has many thoughts running through his mind. His example. His obedience. His attitude. His words. His actions. All of that can make a person so paranoid of making a mistake or getting something wrong that he doesn’t enjoy life, as is with the golfer. Remembering all those things can take the fun out of the game. Golf becomes a chore, something you have to do, like going to the dentist. Christianity can become that way for us. And, the awe of worship, the enjoyment of His word, the blessings of fellowship can all disappear because one is so focused on getting everything just right.

  And, here are some things we need to keep in mind about the inconvenient religion:

  First, the child of God will do what is right, not what is necessarily legal, easy or even cheaper. I live right on the Kentucky line. Car tags are more expensive in Indiana than Kentucky. There are many who have found a way to cheat the system and drive with KY plates, even though they live in Indiana. That may save someone a few dollars, but is that the way Christ wants us to be?

  As a couple advances in age, some consider getting a divorce to save on insurance or social security. We’ll still live together, they say, but this is more convenient and cheaper. Christianity isn’t about what is convenient or cheaper. It’s about following Christ. We must do what is right, even if it means, turning our cheek to get slapped.

  Second, going to worship after you have worked all day is not convenient. Often, it’s not easy. But, neither is carrying our cross, standing for the Lord, or doing what is right. It wasn’t convenient for the Jewish young men to stand when everyone else bowed to Babylon’s idol. So, we will take our tired bodies to worship, knowing that our soul and our spirit needs to be fed and connected with the people of God. Easy? Not always. Convenient? Probably not. But, it is the right thing to do.

  Third, the people of God have never found it convenient to follow God. Do you think it was convenient for Noah to build that massive ark? How about Israel having to walk about and pick up manna every day? How about Paul preaching when the audience was sneering at him? How about Jesus and the nails?

  Our times does not have much patience for inconveniences. We sigh when we have to wait. We complain when there is a line. We get bothered by stopped traffic. As a result, the modern church has formed a nice and convenient religion where one doesn’t have to commit, come, or even change. It’s all ok. The church will cater to your every whim. If it bothers you, you don’t have to do it. The problem with that is simply you don’t read that in your Bible. Books like, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” sells millions and promotes a false idea and theology. We ought to sweat the small stuff as well as the big stuff. If it is too hard, too inconvenient, too much out of our way, one must ask, “Where is your faith?”

  Finding a cheaper way, is not always the best way. Finding an easier way, is not always the best way. Even though others are doing it and even boasting about it, does not make it right nor good for the child of God.

Bending the rules to save more money is a price too high for anyone to pay.