I started thinking about these things again because I just started reading the book Radical-Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream. I am reading it along with the staff at the counseling center that I am interning at this year. We are using it to better understand the clients that we see and helping us to continue knowing how to push back the affects of the fall as we walk through the process of therapy with them. I am excited, but felt nervous after reading this line in the book.
"You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying the success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him" (pg. 3).
The thought that I have wrestled with for a long time is that being a Christian and following Christ is not "safe." Following Christ calls us to something radical. The standards of the american dream call us to work our way to the top, but Scripture calls us to to intentionally step to the bottom, becoming less so others can become greater. The message we often hear is that we need to overcome our enemies, Scripture calls us to love them. Living for Christ means sacrifice, struggle, pain, service, and so many other things. I often wonder if my commitment to Christ involves these things. I am expecting this book to continue to form my thoughts and challenge my own faith.
The author of this book invites the reader on a journey of more questions then answers. I think my wrestling will continue to be a journey as well. I hope to continue to reflect on this book as I work my way through it.
"And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."