I’m sick of Christianity.
And I know enough about Christianity to make that claim. I was born into a Christian home, I grew up going to a good church and youth group, I attended summer camp, I spent five years in Bible college getting two academic degrees, and I’ve personally worked with multiple ministries all across the world. I know a thing or two about Christianity. And I’m sick of it.
Oh I’m not an atheist…I’m not choosing to forsake Christ. But I’m tired of following Christ the way I have been. I’m sick of going through the motions the way I’ve taught myself to. I’m in a rut, but I fell into it myself. It’s nobody else’s fault – I have great parents, great teachers, and a great church. But despite all of that, my heart is sinful. And every day, it wants to take the extraordinary, freeing truths of Christ and package them into ordinary, binding liturgy.
Our culture is convenient and consumeristic. My competitive heart thrives on comparisons and criticizes others. My goal-driven personality craves checklists…And so does my Christianity.
Jesus told us that being a Christian would mean daily taking up our cross to follow Him (Matthew 16:24) and that we would experience persecution if we lived for Him (II Timothy 3:12). But I enjoy my little “niche,” preferring to serve Christ only when it’s easy.
Jesus preached a Gospel that was all about spending, not receiving (John 3:16). He challenged His followers to give, not get (I John 4:7-11). But my Christianity asks, “What will that do for me?” “How will that help me succeed?”
Jesus exemplified servant-hearted leadership – ministering to others and esteeming them higher than Himself (Philippians 2). But I ask to be served and walk over other people to make sure I stay at the top.
Jesus surrounded Himself with broken people and helped those who were nothing like Him (Matthew 9:11). He didn’t try to make people fit some kind of mold…He came to save people from their sin, bring them into a real relationship with Him, and commission them with a purpose greater than anything on this earth. But my Christianity only likes people who look like me, think like me, and believe like me. My Christianity relies on self and accomplishes little. My Christianity does what the Pharisees did – make the traditions of men doctrine and condemn the faith of anyone who doesn’t hold to the same preferences that I do.
Jesus commanded first and foremost that we love God (Mark 12:28-31). His desire was that we please Him because we want to, not that we obey Him because it makes us feel good. But my Christianity doesn’t realize it could never be good enough for Christ. I forget Him and find my identity and success in what I do instead of dependently clinging each day to who He is.
And I’m sick of it. But I guess I shouldn’t say I’m sick of Christianity…I should say I’m sick of MY Christianity. And to fix it, I’m not leaving Christ…I’m actually choosing to pursue Him, because Christ has nothing to do with the Christianity I currently have. He didn’t save me to do any of those things. And in fact, I think He hates my Christianity even more than I do.
So instead of bickering, fighting, judging, competing, and performing; today you’ll find me loving, serving, forgiving, overlooking, and abiding. And when my sinful heart reverts back to its old ways? When it reconstructs a fake version of Christianity that will fit my mold and fulfill my selfishness? I’ll get back up again and pursue REAL Christianity, because even though God hates that façade, He always loves me…He’ll never compare, criticize, or condemn. Instead He will compassionately offer hopeful change so that I can experience the real things that He actually saved me for.