When I first began this walk with God I found my life revolutionized. In a single moment my life was turned upside down, old addictions and patterns were broken, and I eagerly threw myself into my new life. Everything changed. And it wasn’t just on the inside. The way I dressed, the way I spoke, the people I hung out with, the music I listened to, the books I read…the list could go on. Everything changed, and my family and friends could see the difference.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
That described me in a nutshell. Because Jesus came into my life and set up His new home my life was changed.
Fast forward a few years, well, more than a few, and I have to pause and wonder if my life is still different compared to the world? I know that I’m not perfect, and I still make mistakes, but when people look at my life can they see Jesus living in me?
Unfortunately, like a lot of Christian’s out there, it seems like lately I’ve been treating Jesus as my personal buffet. Come on, you know what I mean.
A self-serve buffet at a restaurant is hugely popular. Why? Because unlike a menu with predetermined dishes a buffet gives you the option of creating your own specialized meal. You get to pick and choose what you eat, with no limits or rules. Don’t like spinach? It’s off the list! Love mashed potatoes and gravy? Pile it on! And we Christians have a tendency to treat Jesus the same way.
We pick and choose what parts of the Bible we want to believe and follow. We love the sweet stuff, you know, things like God’s love and grace. But when it comes to God’s laws we often turn our noses up at it, or for the sake of appearances put a piddly little slice on our plates, but we make sure to smother it with compromise to make it more palatable. We specialize our Christianity according to what feels good at the time, not what would please God, and far more often than not we value the approval of the world rather than the approval of the One who gave us our new life to begin with.
In doing so, our lives have become so riddled with worldly views and values that it’s often hard to tell the difference between a saint and a sinner, and I admit there are times when someone has told me they are a Christian and I’ve thought, “Really?” And, I must admit, there are times when I look at my own life and think, “Really?”
We must come away from the buffet mentality and embrace the entire menu, because the Bible is either completely true or completely false. There is no middle ground. There is no compromise. If we say we are a Christian, then we must be Christ –followers, which means we live to please the Lord and only Him.
The Bible says it best in Ephesians 5:8-11, 15-17
“In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. This light produces every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. Try to learn what pleases the Lord. Have no part in the things that people in darkness do, which produce nothing good…So be very careful how you live. Live wisely, not like fools. I mean that you should use every opportunity you have for doing good, because these are evil times. So don’t be foolish with your lives, but learn what the Lord wants you to do.”