Before I became a Christ-follower, I thought of myself as a Christian. I had never killed anyone. I felt like I was basically a good person. I wasn’t Jewish or Muslim and I believed God created me and the universe. I figured if I left God alone, He’d leave me alone.
Today, many people call themselves Christian because they were born in the western world or a part of the world where the government doesn’t support a particular religion. For me, even after I trusted Jesus, it was several years before I realized that, according to the Bible, Jesus really intends for me to follow him. He made that simple request over and over again to every kind of person imaginable. I’m not talking about following Jesus like I follow a team, or a business or topic on the Internet. Jesus intends for me to bend my life toward everything he said. When I was 30 years old, I chose to line my life up with what I believe in the Bible and my life began to change. That’s why I now call myself a Christ-follower.
But, I also must confess. I’m not even close to perfect. Sometimes I get disconnected. Sometimes I don’t act like I follow Jesus at all. Sometimes I check out. Even so, I would like the direction of my life to be Christ-ward and the increasing center of my life to be Jesus himself. When I catch myself, or worse, when others notice my shortcomings, I want to correct myself. It’s tempting to try to get God to define Christianity by my actions, but I don’t expect it. My job is to conform to God. My life is better when I do. But perfection won’t happen on this side of Heaven. That’s why Jesus had to die. The penalty for my crimes against God had to be paid. I try to line my life up with Jesus’ desires because of what he has already done for me.
“How can Christian churches be filled with so many people who call themselves Christian without ever really following Christ?” Erwin McManus
I hope we help one another follow Jesus better. Every day we have an opportunity to help others move one notch closer to Jesus. Step one is for us each to choose to believe in Jesus and bend our lives toward his teaching. And even if we already believe, we still have a way to go. Each day Jesus shows us ways we can follow him more closely and help others follow him more closely, too.
I’ve never liked the title, follower, but Jesus insists. Jesus called me to bend my life to his. A follower of Jesus is active, not passive. We actively believe, trust and live so that others may see Jesus and follow him, too. I am a Follower of One.
Maybe you think I’m crazy. I’d be willing to talk about it. Comment below or complete the contact form and we can arrange a dialog. Or, if you’re interested in learning more, we have formed a community site and Facebook page for people who want to live more of our everyday lives following Jesus.