Hey Christian, Stop It

Alright, you’re a Christian. After all, you have all of the tools you need. You have your densely highlighted and underlined NLT leather Bible, your Eno, your Chacos, your Patagonia backpack and of course, your beloved Camelbak or Nalgene water bottle that is covered in name-brand stickers. Your days consist of going outside, chilling in your Eno and blasting “It Is Well” by Bethel Worship, “O, Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship, and “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin. Or maybe you decide to go to your local Starbucks, get your favorite coffee and set up the perfect picture for Instagram, with some sort of meaningful quote. Your room is decorated with lots of deep, inspirational quotes, maps with variations of “Send Me” close by and probably some pictures of your last mission trip. Your Instagram page is full of pictures of your friends that are “gems,” captions of how “#blessed” you are for certain things and pictures of the last country you visited that say,“Take me back.” Oh, and you might have a tattoo in Greek.

Okay, if you know me at all, you know that I literally just described myself(Well, except for the tattoo part.) So, when I say what I’m about to, I’m not bashing or putting anyone down at all. I am guilty of all of these things and God has really laid these things on my heart that I’ve found myself doing time after time. I am not here to point fingers, but to simply share with you what God has laid on my heart. What I say in the coming passages are out of love, to simply enlighten you on something that God completely ripped me apart with.

It seems that in the time we live in, if you’re going to be a Christian, you must have all of the right things, and I’m tired of it. You must dress a certain way, have a certain bible, drink coffee, etc. Christianity is not about having a certain look or personality, but about having a deep, meaningful relationship with Christ. I think us, as Christians, have missed it. We are focused more on how “Spiritual” we look on the outside, than how our soul really is on the inside. We have embraced this culture of seeking the approval of our friends, and not seeking the face of our Savior. I’m here to tell you that it’s not anything like what I described. Yes, having these things are a huge blessing, but sometimes, they can get in the way of our actual relationship with Jesus. We begin to idolize the Instagram picture, the coffee, the “trendy,” look. We are allowing temporary satisfactions to overpower and dominate our eternal promise.

Being in a relationship with Christ is not easy, and it’s certainly not the most trendy thing out there. Get outside of your church, your small group, your Christian high school or university, and see how trendy it truly is. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, Jesus states it in Scripture multiple times throughout the Old and New Testament. One of my favorites has to be, Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Jesus is saying that He is sending us out as wise sheep among the wolves. We must expect this, not be surprised by it.

The raw gospel is about surrendering everything you have to a God who sent His son to be crucified for things you’ve done wrong. You mess up daily? Yeah, our sweet Jesus died for that. You struggle daily? Yeah, He died for that too. It’s more than just drinking designer coffee, posting the best Bible post on Instagram, Bible journaling and “being intentional.” It’s way more than that. It’s about finding peace and joy in spending time with our Creator. It’s about finding the simple gospel. I know a lot of people just like me who fit the stereotype perfectly.. who have some of the deepest, most meaningful relationships with Christ that I know, but I also know a lot of people who fit the stereotype who are just faking it.

I’m so tired of people who do not know Christ thinking that they must have a certain look or personality about them, and it hinders them from running into the loving arms of Jesus. It pushes them away from receiving the beautiful gift of grace, because of our wrongdoing. We’ve made Christianity a club, and that’s not okay. We have taken God’s beauty and grace and made a fad out of it.

Let’s strive to live out the quote of Charles Spurgeon,

 “Seek the gospel that rips up, wounds and even kills, for that is the Gospel that makes alive again.”

So friends, I’m not saying that we can’t have these things and still be Christians (because honestly, I like the way I live life, with these things I’ve been given, and this is just who I am,) but I am saying that having these things are not what makes us Christians. These things can become idols. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to seek the simple gospel. Let’s get back to the basics of a raw faith. So yes, go blast “It is Well” while wearing your Chacos and in your Eno, just make sure you seek Jesus, not a temporary idol. Find that peace. Find rest.

So, be careful how you live out your faith. Are you just doing it to be trendy, or do you have a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ?

The peace and fulfillment of Jesus is literally so good that your bank account can be empty, your body be sick and your heart be broken, but it can always be well with your soul.

Much love, my sweet friend.

So Others May Live,

D'Anna Johnson