Acting Like a Christian
When I was younger, I wanted to be a famous actress – on Broadway (Hollywood is for sell-outs). But then I heard a speaker talk about how tough it is to break into theater, how aspiring actors have to live crammed together in tiny New York apartments, working as waiters and auditioning for show after show; he told us how the pay for most Broadway actors isn’t that much and how long and grueling the hours are for those actors. The speaker then said, “Only pursue acting if there’s nothing else on earth you can imagine yourself doing, if you want it more than you want anything else.”
I thought about what he said and realized that, while I love performing, I don’t have the drive needed to pursue it as a career. I like my personal space, I’m WAY too clumsy to be a waiter, and I can barely keep my eyes open after 11:00pm. And there’s NO guarantee that I’d make it. In fact, the odds were very much against me being anything but a very tired waitress for the rest of my life.
In short, for me, acting was a hobby – something fun to do – but it wasn’t what I wanted to be. It wasn’t something I was willing to give up everything to pursue.
A lot of people I know feel about the Christian life the way I felt about acting: they like parts of it, but it doesn’t drive them. They aren’t willing to give up everything in pursuit of Christ. They aren’t willing to give up what is safe in pursuit of His calling. They are, as Kyle Idleman says, “Fans” but not “Followers.” They see Christianity as a hobby, not as a career.
But Jesus doesn’t give us that option. True followers of Christ, by definition, are all in. Serving Him and knowing Him is what we want more than anything else. No matter what. Even when life gets tough, even when things don’t go our way, even when people ridicule us. We want to know Christ make Him known and nothing else on earth matters as much as that. Not that we don’t have our moments of “What was I thinking?” or “This is NOT what I signed up for!” – we do – but we don’t give up. We don’t treat Christ like I treat theater – doing a play every 4 or 5 years, if I can fit it into my schedule.
In short, we treat Christianity, not as something we do, but as who we are. Every day, all the time, no matter what. We cling to Christ. We immerse ourselves in God’s word, we surround ourselves with God’s people, and we seek to make every word we say and every thing we do glorify Him. We are all in.