Why decide for Christ?

                 There seems to be this balancing act among Christians who have chosen to follow Christ. This is a paradox I have yet to fully understand but the more I meet and get to know people and see different ways of loving and living for God, the more I understand what I think He intended us to see through scripture, what it means to decide for Christ. I am not writing to judge one side or the other, I am confident that only God knows and can weigh the heart, and I praise him for it, because without Him I would be lost. I write to further understand this balance in my own life and what I actually believe and whether I actually live any of it out...

Deutschland 2013

             On one side, many choose for Christ because of all the positive, influential, and beneficial aspects of becoming a Christian. God will help me when I am sad or when I am lonely. God gives me something to think about when I am in a difficult situation and I don`t know what outcome to expect. God will give me peace when my soul is restless with decision making. Going church provides good morals for my children to learn and acquire for their futures. Knowing Christians gives me lots of friends that will be there for me when I need them and make me feel loved. Being a Christian will help me forget about all the bad things I`ve done in my past. Becoming a Christian will help me deal with my problems and make me a better person over all.

         I think many of have heard these things said before, and even closer to home, many of us have thought these thoughts ourselves. Is it wrong? Are these thoughts purely selfish? What should we expect of our life and future as a Christian?

            On the other side I think many choose for Christ because of others. They see brokenness, pain, and hurt invading the lives of the innocent and they cannot bare to think that those people are carrying it all themselves. These people live to be missionaries. They daily talk about Christ and what he did, is, and can do. These people spend their free time visiting the sick and the poor, handing out tracks, providing meals, etc. They are always on the go and they are always a phone call away. They don`t really have community sometimes because their community is those who need Christ and don`t yet know him. They sometimes make rash and surprising decisions and aren`t always very wise with finances and they can become very monotonous in their actions. What does God think about them? Is he pleased?

         Most of us probably know someone like this too. They probably get on your nerves because always want to talk about God and they always want to help you fix something in your life or help you know God more and when you think you know God you are offended. And you wonder whether they really believe anything they tell others all the time or whether it is just routine.

          Is there a middle ground? Do Christians have to be one or the other?

          I believe scripture says we should become followers of Christ because of CHRIST. His grace is free and it is abundant but whether we are doing it for ourselves or for others, we are missing something huge. If I spend my entire life relating everything with Christ only to myself, I miss out on the incredible opportunity to impact the lives of the lost and the lives of other believers around me! If I am so focused on what God can do for me... I lose sight of what Christ lives to do for others. When my heart is so inwardly bent, it is hard to ever open it for others. If I spend my entire life relating everything with Christ only towards others I believe I become robot. I just keep talking, doing it, like a job. Tell this person because they need to hear it, because it is just the right thing to do. I spend my life, dawn until dusk, living for others and I forget that CHRIST DIED FOR me too. That CHRIST is the reason I am alive to say these things at all.

          Bonhoeffer said it best, Cost of Discipleship. There is a cost of becoming a Christian. Grace is free but what it demands is powerful. All of this, everything, is is only possible because CHRIST FIRST LOVED US. That means you and that means me. We are all connected... this one big world. And our relationships to one another as believers and to the lost should be equal importance but vary type. Whether I am too focused on myself or too focused on others, I am missing CHRIST.

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