When Christianity Becomes Convenient

We are a blessed generation of Christians in that the Lord allowed us to live in this age of advancements in technology and knowledge. We have spacious air conditioned churches. We have digital Bibles. We have devices that can record preachings and sermons. We have live feeds that can show church services real time online. We can walk in at any church congregation around the globe when we’re on trips. We have so much tools and resources accessible for spiritual growth. Most importantly, we have every available venue where we can be used in the ministry using the talents the Lord has given us.

Indeed, we are the millennial Christians – riding the wave when the era of convenience is moving towards its peak. This, I observe, can apply to any of us regardless of our age or date of birth. Unlike the millennial talk happening globally now, being a ‘millennial’ in terms of Christianity is seldom tackled but is subtly creeping into our spiritual culture nowadays. As someone who belongs to this generation which enjoys a lot of convenience, the Lord has given me these questions to ponder upon the past few months: Is my being a Christian during this age a stepping stone or a stumbling block? What really happens when Christianity becomes convenient? How do we respond to the Lord’s call in Matt. 16:24, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”?

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The issue is not with these advancements in technology per se. The challenge begins when we view Christianity as convenient to our own liking – when air conditioned congregational places become a venue for chitchat rather than worship; when studying  digital Bibles can easily be switched into scrolling of Facebook newsfeeds; when live feeds replace a warm face to face fellowship and coming together; when prayers become a chore; when we give only when we feel like it; when we share the gospel only when it is not awkward or not share it at all because it is awkward; when we serve only when we have no other plans for the day, or choose a place of service simply because it makes us “shine”. When the easy and instant access to these things falls into our own hands and cause us to act only when we feel like it, the issue of convenience then becomes an issue of intentionality. Here we must be quick to discern when our convenience becomes intentional.

Heed the Holy Spirit when it points out when things are becoming convenient. We should ask ourselves, why do my spiritual activities feel so effortless? Is it because I am becoming efficient in how I live my Christian life? Or is it because I intentionally choose to tread the path of convenience? Is the Christian life meant to be lived conveniently in the first place? Am I pleasing God in the way I live?

With all the perks of existing at this day and age, we must ever be more vigilant and intentional in seeking God in our lives.

”And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

It is because when our spiritual lives appear convenient, we tend to choose what’s easy rather than what is right. We are more prone into losing sight of what the Lord wants us to do. And when we lose our focus on Christ, there is this ever-present danger to become easy targets to the enemy who is “like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour.”1 He seeks every opportunity to turn us into lukewarm Christians preventing us from effectively serving the Lord as “living sacrifices.”2

We must remember that the Christian life is not designed for convenience simply because it roots from a very inconvenient point in history – the ultimate sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Since time immemorial, the Lord calls each and every follower of His to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him. That in no way spells convenience in any aspect. Take for example the Apostle Paul who gave up his lucrative career to preach the gospel to the Gentiles;3 the Macedonian Christians who gave offerings despite their deep poverty;4 and countless other heroes of the faith as outlined in Hebrews 11 who sacrificed not just their convenience but their very own lives. All these are patterned on how our very own Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, took the lowly form of a servant and endured the cross as a meek lamb led to slaughter.5

Intentionally choosing obedience even when it means going out of your way or even when it is not easy is how we can truly please God because it is the only way we can prove our faith in Him.6. The Lord is in a serious business of bringing about change in the world through His faithful servants and He is well-pleased with those who are willing to sacrifice and give up their comforts so that the Lord can fulfil His purpose in them. And He called you, me, us. We need to be broken and poured out so that through our lives, five thousand more could be fed instead of just our own hungry tummy just like the boy who gave up his five loaves and two fishes.7 Ask God to give us the wisdom, discernment, and grit to serve Him in selfless love and commitment.

Let us look forward to meeting Him someday congratulating us for a job well done as His good and faithful servants.8

 

Biblical references:

1 1 Peter 5:8

2 Romans 12:1

3 Philippians 3:8

4 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

5 Isaiah 53:7

6 Hebrews 11:6

7 John 6:1-14

8 Matthew 25:23

Image from http://www.zipmatch.com

 

 

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