Our culture promotes convenience, comfort, and things being quick and easy.
100 years it would have been virtually inconceivable to drive up to a restaurant window, order your meal, and get it back almost instantaneously. Today, fast food drive-thrus are incredibly common.
10 years ago it would have been virtually inconceivable to pick up a smart phone or iPad and video call someone on the other side of the planet in real time… for free. Now it’s taken for granted.
Yup, convenience and comfort are king.
But when it comes to faith, here’s my question: Does God always make your life better by making it easier?
Let’s look at Luke 9:23. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
A cross was a way to torture and kill political criminals. So when Jesus says to take up a cross daily and follow him, he doesn’t mean we need to physically experience death every day. (Because you can only die once.)
What he means is that we need to crucify our egos and selfish ways every day if we truly want to be his disciples. Only then can we put him first, be a part of the change HE is doing in the world, and experience the abundant life he wants for us.
So, does God always make your life better by making it easier?
Granted, some things are in fact better and easier at the same time. Like an illness being cured or an acute stress coming to an end.
But when you think about the big picture decisions you make, the tough choices, and the ways you cultivate your character to be more like Jesus, God rarely makes your life better by making it easier.
The way of Christ—the way of self-sacrificial love—isn’t always easy. But it’s better. And more meaningful. And more joyful. Your life will also start to be less heavy and more light.
Think for a moment about your next 12 months. What big decision do you have to make?
Don’t just do what is easy. Do what is right.
Approach life with wisdom and with a big heart for self-sacrificial love. Easier isn’t always better.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my message from Sunday called “When Easier Isn’t Better.” If you want to check it out you can listen to the 21-minute podcast here. Enjoy!