“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”- John 8:31
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”- John 3:35
As Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 1 of Not a Fan, he asserts that it’s almost impossible to be objective when asked to define our relationship to Christ. Pastor Idleman points out two highly subjective measurements often used to define that relationship:
1. Cultural comparisons. This happens when Christians observe the commitment level of those around them and conclude that their relationship with Jesus is solid by comparison. Essentially, the author notes, this is grading one’s relationship with Jesus on the curve. Everything is OK as long as one is more spiritual than the next person. Pastor Idleman cautions, however, that if we find ourselves measuring our relationship to Jesus via comparison with others, that likely is a self-indictment, indicating that some personal faith issues need to be addressed.
2. Religious ruler. This ruler is used by Christians to point to their observance of religious rules and rituals, such as going to church every weekend or tithing, as evidence of their faith commitment. In other words, if one truly was not a believer, there’d be no reason to participate in such religious activities.
As the author concludes, the real question is how Jesus defines what it means to follow Him.
Today’s question: In the aftermath of your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, have you consciously or subconsciously utilized either of Pastor Idleman’s subjective faith measurements? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Thriving with Living Water”