I’ve been listening to sermons for quite a while. One day, I was reading a copy of “not a fan.” by Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church; suddenly, it dawned on me. I never defined the relationship. Defining the relationship is something that everyone needs to do, according to Idleman. Do you follow Jesus, or are you a fan of Jesus?
I read on further to find that many attributes of what he refers to as fans also applied to myself. I would go to church, make it a point to listen only to Christian radio, but when someone actually challenged me or when following Jesus actually threatened to change my status quo, it was as if I was a no-show. Is it possible that I have merely been a loyal fan this whole time, instead of an obedient follower? Yes. It is entirely possible.
I ask myself over and over again, what does it cost to follow Jesus? The answer seems to be repeated over and over, it’s going to cost something. Jesus wants commitment. The question is, do I? And, time and time again, the answer seemed to be, “no.” I didn’t care about attending church on a regular basis, if at all. Then, one day, the script changed. It was as if a switch had been flipped and my heart opened up and said, “I’m ready.” So the question is, what will it cost to follow Jesus?
It could cost my job. It could cost my life savings, or my career goals. It could even end up costing my life. It isn’t pretty– and Jesus lets us know these truths up front. He wants us to follow him, no matter the cost. Am I ready to follow through with that level of commitment, with that sort of conviction? The question is not, “can you,” but “will you?” As I walk through this new life, I must continually ask myself; will I allow myself to become a committed follower of Jesus? Will I humble myself before God, no matter the cost? While I pray that the answer will always be “yes,” I know that it will not always be easy, and it will not always be as cheap or tawdry as publicly declaring myself a Christian, or wearing a cross pendant around my body.