Categories
Christian Living Discipleship

What Following Jesus is Actually About

One of our summer school classes recently enjoyed a game day. I walked in to see students playing checkers, Sorry! and other favorites. Several kids were circled up on the floor playing Go Fish, a much-loved card game from my youth. I watched them for a few minutes. But it only took a few seconds to rewind back to a childhood memory. Does this happen to you too?

When I was in middle school, my church hosted a “Lock-in” for the youth group. We were inside the church from 7 pm until breakfast the next morning. There was Bible study, food and games galore! I brought my favorite deck of cards to play, you guessed it, Go Fish.

Well, I accidentally left my playing cards behind in a Sunday school classroom. And it wasn’t just any room. I forgot them on the coffee table in “The Reapers” classroom–a group of thoroughly conservative ladies in our church.

You probably know where this is going. One of the more judgmental matrons from the class brought my deck of cards to our pastor and was aghast. “Someone has been playing cards in the church!” Brother Allen, that’s what Baptists call the preacher, gave the cards back to me. To his credit, he didn’t scold me for bringing them into God’s house. But he did ask me to never leave them in The Reaper’s classroom again!

What didn’t add up, even to my 13 year old mind, was that the woman who found such fault didn’t even KNOW what was done with the cards. I suppose she thought we were gambling with them? I wasn’t about to ask!

Following Jesus means more than keeping a bunch of rules. That was my conclusion as a teenager, and I’m sticking with it. When I read “The Beatitudes,” from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10), I recognize a beautiful attitude–the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b). This must be what following Jesus is actually about.

For a look at an excellent devotional on this same subject/scripture passage, please see Authentic Christianity by David H. Roper.


Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Jesus – Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

Photo by Trent Bradley on Unsplash.

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

32 replies on “What Following Jesus is Actually About”

Thank you, Pete. I always appreciate your perspective! 🎶”Tis a gift to be simple”🎶 Living a clutter free life puts us in the best position to have unbroken fellowship with God. 🙏for a blessed day!

Like

Thanks David for the comment that these beatitudes are the mind of Christ. I confess I am still a struggling rule follower though I do enjoy a good game of Skip-Bo with our family. For me following a simple life gives a sense of peace and order in which I can better hear God’s voice above the clatter. Only from that foundation do I have the sense of God’s grace that strengthens me to serve others. Just thought I’d share a different perspective. Excellent post and comments.

Liked by 1 person

So true, we must not judge by appearance only. You are correct about the lady from church. She was from a generation that frowned on any entertainment in God’s house. I’m grateful for your comment. Blessings!

Like

Your story reminds me of many folk who take scripture and make it into shackles to make life burdensome, yet our Lord showed by example how we are to love one another.
Help us and guide us Lord to be Your love today, in all circumstances to Your glory, Amen.

Liked by 1 person

David, I suspect the “judgmental matron” was raised during a time when a person didn’t do anything in church but pray, read the Bible, and sing hymns. No youth meetings that featured games of any kind. Many churches frowned on dancing, mixed swimming, going to the movies, lest young people get ideas not pleasing to the Lord.

I have to second your comment about being around young people who wear tattoos, multi-colored hair, body piercings, and guys wearing earrings. I used to work at a “big box” retailer which encouraged freedom of expression. My first day at work I saw a department manager (a guy) who was wearing huge earrings. I almost bust out laughing. Later on, when I worked alongside the guy, I realized how nice he was. He was very patient with me, a “newbie”, over twice his age who had a lot to learn. I appreciated that. When I shop at the store, we still exchange greetings. I think the Lord had me working there as an object lesson in not judging people’s appearance.

Liked by 1 person

Good point on the generational influence. I still can’t figure out the need for all the body piercings, especially in the nose or tongue. But if that’s what makes them happy, who am I to say otherwise? I have multi-colored hair, but it is natural, some original brown mixed in with silver!

Liked by 2 people

The church lady who was so offended was a good person (in many respects), but her moral principles reflected her generation. I face this now when I meet tattooed young people with multi-colored hair and body piercings. 🙏Lord, help me to look beyond appearance to a person’s heart!
Thank you for your comment. Blessings!

Liked by 3 people

I know what you mean about the church ladies. It still saddens me when Christians go off what looks like the deep end with judgments about things. Because, (dripping with sarcasm here) we are all going to hell for playing Go Fish. But wait, didn’t Jesus tell Peter to go fish? So is it wrong? 😆

Liked by 2 people

Understood, Bridget. You spiritual perception is quite keen and you express powerful thoughts with few words. That’s also the kind of writer I aspire to be. Yes, the fellowship is wonderful. I’ve met so many wonderful people here on WP.

Liked by 2 people

And I was a little too hasty with hitting send! What I was trying to imply was that our relationship with Him helps us to get to the point where we have the mind of Christ. You’ve given me a lot to ponder this morning! Thank you again for this great post. I too have enjoyed the interaction and reading everyone’s comments. Such good fellowship!

Liked by 3 people

Thank you, Bridget. If I had written more words they would have been about the relationship with Christ you mention. I like to leave room for readers to fill in the blanks. And wise and perceptive bloggers ( like you) always do! Thank you for the interaction. I always enjoy your thoughts. Blessings!

Liked by 2 people

The mind of Christ- that is what following Jesus is all about, absolutely right David.
Following Jesus is so much more than just some rules, it is living in relationship with Him, although we know that theoretically living that out everyday is the challenge. I pray that we can reflect Christ in a true sense.

Liked by 3 people

Great post! It is sad that Christians in the church can be so quick to point fingers at one another. But on the other hand, it also can be easy for each of us to fall into a set of “rules.” Self-righteousness and pride can grab us all. But I love what you have pointed out here. When we draw close to Jesus, and walk in His love each day, that is when we begin to realize it is not about rules, but a relationship. I pray we all can find that in our walk. Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking message.

Liked by 2 people

David, the story from your youth, for me, brings up the “Judge not” quotes. I am critical of the “judgmental matron’s” response – it seems so wrong on many levels! However, based on the scripture you quoted, I guess I need to show her some mercy. Your conclusion as a 13 year old was correct – there’s more to love than rules! Enjoy your Saturday!

Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.