“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it,” Jesus said. “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

– – – –

If you’ve had some conversations with some Christians, you’ve probably heard somebody say we are in the world and not of it.

And we are. If you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, usually you’ll feel like an expat. By default, you can’t fit in completely. Hold your choices up to the general public’s choices and yours will stand out, always as unusual, often as ridiculous.

So I’m concerned lately by how hard we try to take the world and create of it a place where the way we live makes sense.

Where we won’t feel like expats. Where we’ll fit in completely. Where our choices are typical. We latch onto an issue — abortion, for example — and we expend a heck of a lot of our energy trying to get the world to do what we want it to do.

We picket, for instance, in hopes that laws will change so other people won’t do the things we won’t do. We think “This is us, standing out the way we should!” when what we’re really doing is trying to make not being like us illegal, which would mean we’ll finally fit in, at least among law abiding citizens (which would make life a lot easier). And in the process, we put far less energy into being who we’re supposed to be — good examples, unconditional lovers and all the other things we don’t have time to be while we’re making our signs.

We keep saying “we’re in the world, not of it!” while trying to change the world so it’s safe for us to be of it. We’ve got to let that go.

Everything of the world is designed to keep us from doing what we should. And I’m not saying one distracts you from the other (although it does), but that the act of doing A makes it an impossibility that you could do B, even if you wanted. A and B will always be incompatible.

You cannot love and lust at the same time.
You cannot trust God and pitch a fit when you don’t get your way.
You cannot serve God and money.

We already know the world will never be what we want it to be. It’ll never be what we need it to be for following Christ in it to be easy.

So yeah. It’s true. The world won’t cater to us.

Get over it!