And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24.
There are a myriad of sources in popular Christian culture that will purport to help you in your Christian walk. We have podcasts and blogs and web sites and even some old-fashioned books to assist us. They are targeted at teens, mothers, fathers, Christian business people, cancer sufferers, and just about every demographic that will support a marketing budget. The idea is that Christian discipleship is hard and we need some experts to help us make progress.
That idea will resonate with many of us. We struggle to exercise the spiritual disciplines we know will make us grow stronger in the Lord. They aren’t called disciplines for nothing. They won’t do themselves. It takes some work.
It turns out, they can take a lot less work than you might think. The energy required to exercise a discipline is negatively correlated with one’s commitment to that discipline. If you really ENJOY running in the early morning, it takes much less discipline to get your miles done.
The same element is in play in Christian disciplines at multiple levels. Certainly, if you find a valid Bible translation that you enjoy reading, devotional reading is a lot easier to engage. But its also true that the more reservations we carry into our pursuing spiritual disciplines, the harder they will be.
- It is easy to not lie. It is much harder to not lie and yet have everyone perceive you exactly the way you would like to be perceived.
- It is easy to not steal. It is much harder to not steal if you want to possess everything your heart desires.
- It is easy to love God. It is impossible to love God while also loving yourself and the world.
The journey of becoming like Christ through sanctification gets way easier when you agree to leave behind all the baggage you are holding onto. What in your life is making your Christian walk such a burden? Are you angry at your parents or spouse about treatment you have received from them? Are you jealous of someone who worked less hard than you but received more recognition? Carrying all those burdens is doing Christian the hard way.
What would you be willing to let go? It is your choice as to how you will travel but you will go much farther and much faster if you travel light.