What I'd Change If I Were Jesus
If it were up to me, there would only be one thing I would change about following Jesus (or if I were Jesus, following me). I would change whatever God was working on in me at the moment. If I had to be moment specific, right now I'd like some revisions to Jesus' call to unity.
Jesus unfortunately talked a lot about unity. He tossed a national traiter, a political revolutionary, a couple of hotheads, and some blue collar workers into the same boat told them to get along. If the sorts of disputes we have among the disciples in the gospels is the tip of the iceberg, then the little discipleship community wasn't always easy sailing, even with the Son of God physically in their presence.
And now Jesus calls me to live together and share life deeply with conspiracy theorists, flaming liberals, fundamentalist republicans, self-righteous over-spiritualizers, and narcissistic manipulators.
Unfortunately, I figured out a long time ago that the number of people we're called to part fellowship with is far smaller than the number of people I want to part fellowship with. If I'm operating on my social tolerances, I can handle a lot. But when it comes to who Jesus asks me to live life with, my tolerances just can't muster the strength.
Consequently, Church can feel like a wrestling match. I love my church, I love the people there, most of the time. But I'm a bit of a control freak, which I used to control by standing on the sidelines. But recently Jesus has specifically called me to quit being the squeaky spare wheel and start hitting the pavement. This doesn't come easy. People don't do what I think they should; they lie, lump manipulative expectations on you, and season their conversation with spiritual words that make you feel like you should probably care more about your faith. Of course they're probably just as insecure about theirs.
This of course is all a documentation of my deficiencies. It's not my specific group of believers I hang out with that is the problem. No matter where I go I'd have the same issues, because I am the problem. I am the one lumping expectations on people for what they should be, how they should treat me. I am the one who speaks out of my insecurity, steering the 'spiritual' conversation to places I'm comfortable with, so I can control my surroundings.
Jesus of course wants me to do more than just get along with his friends. He wants us to love each other like He loves us, which is according to the gospels a rather painful process. He's thrown us all in the same boat and asked us to to the same thing He has, to take up our cross and die to ourselves, for Christ, for others.
A Benediction For the Day.
May God place difficult people in your way, May He guide you in places of relational frustration, May He send you your ideological opposite when you ask for His help, So that you, like Him, may die for the Jesus that lives in others.