Living for Jesus is simple, but we often make it harder than it needs to be
Though some people try to turn their walk with Jesus into a complex set of criteria, in reality living the Christian life is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is simple.
Here are the three essential aspects we should consider as we follow Jesus. In practical terms, this is what it means to be a Christian.
As a follower of Jesus, we want to put God first. We do this as we worship Him. We must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). I understand this principle, but figuring out what it means presents a challenge.
Yes, we worship him on Sunday morning, but we also worship him the other 167 hours of the week.
We worship God by how we live our lives. We worship him by the things we say and do. We worship him with our thoughts and attitudes. And we worship him when we practice the next two essentials of our Christian faith.
God exists as Trinity, as three in one. God is a community. He wants to have a relationship with us that reflects his community. Yes, we should have a fearful reverence for God. And we should love him as our perfect heavenly Father. But amid this resides living with God in community.
Beyond having community with God, he wants us to be in community with his other children. He created us to crave connection. We aren’t to live out our faith in isolation but to love one another.
Community means we encourage one another, support one another, and put one another first. Which takes us to the third essential aspect of living the Christian life.
As we walk with Jesus, we esteem others as more important than ourselves. This is hard in today’s me-first society. But it is Jesus’s way. We sacrifice our ego and set aside our plans in order to do what is best for others.
That’s what Jesus did. That’s what we should do. And this doesn’t just apply to those in our spiritual community, but it also applies—in fact it especially applies—to those outside our Christian bubble.
Putting others first concerns our neighbors, the people we meet as we go about life, and those within our circle of influence. By putting others first, we show them Jesus’s love. Without saying a word, we can point them to Jesus.
In considering these three essential aspects of Christianity, we can further simplify them with one word: love.
Love is how Jesus lived his life, and love is how he summed up the entire Old Testament. He condensed the Law and the writings of the prophets into two simple perspectives: love God and love others (Matthew 22:38-40).
Furthermore, in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth he talks about love. He ends this well-known passage saying that the greatest thing of all is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love is what matters most. As we worship God, pursue community, and put others first, we exemplify the love of God.
May we all love well. That’s what it means to be a Christian.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.