I remember the day an acquaintance told me, “Christianity is for wimps. It’s a crutch for weak people.” I can’t think of a statement that’s further from the truth!
Christianity is costly. It demands the courage to walk away from the world’s siren call for physical comfort and financial security. It requires the willingness to face persecution for one’s faith. It risks the rejection of family and friends.
This morning I read from Matthew 19:16-21 where someone asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. When Jesus told him he ought to sell his earthly belongings, give the money to the poor, and then follow Him, the man turned away. Following Jesus would have cost him financial insecurity and physical comfort, and he was neither ready nor willing to give those up.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with a young missionary couple who work in Romania. Their names are Andy and Tresha McKnight, and they minister to children and teenagers who have HIV/AIDS. They’ve given the past 10 years of their lives to helping these kids who are considered the lepers of modern society in their own country. The work has been physically and emotionally demanding as they’ve trusted the Lord for finances month after month, watching the cost of living escalate beyond their budget, being separated from their family for months or even years at a time, living in a land where medical care for their own two wee children is minimal at best.
Are they wimps? Au contraire! They’re modern-day heroes in my books. They’ve counted the cost of following Jesus, and they’re not looking back.
Those who are willing to count the cost are noticed by God Himself. He’s got good things in store for them. Verse 29 says, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life.”
There’s no possible way that Christianity is a religion for those who need a crutch. It’s for those who are willing to count the cost, pay the price, and demonstrate the courage necessary to follow Jesus wherever He leads. And for those brave souls, a reward awaits!