The Jesus Test
In today's world, living a Christian life has become a very gray area - each church and even each individual finds his/her own way to interpret the Bible - from one verse, you can get hundreds of different religions and personal beliefs. So, how do you know which one is right? How do you know if something is a sin? For example, is TV a sin? Movies? Sports? Some say there are, others scoff and say Jesus really doesn't have an opinion on the topic.
I finally finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and there is one little story he shared that has stuck with me.
"As I said before, my wife's grandma Clara offered a real-life example of a person consumed with Jesus. I once attended a play with my life and some of her relatives, including Grandma Clara. During intermission, I leaned over and asked what she thought of the play. She said, 'Oh honey, I really don't want to be here right now.' When I asked why, she replied, 'I just don't know if this is where I want to be when Christ returns. I'd rather be helping someone or on my knees praying. I don't want Him to return and find me sitting in a theater.'"
The Bible tells us over and over again to keep watch, for we don't know when Jesus will come to take His beloved church home.
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do know not when the master of the house is coming - in the evening, at midnight, at the crowning of the rooster, or in the morning - lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" -Mark 13:32-37
It's more than just fear of being caught doing something wrong though. The Bible says we should meditate on His word day and night - continuously thinking, praying, dreaming, believing. Can you do that while simultaneously watching TV? Reading a worldly magazine? Reading a romance novel? The answer is no. Yet, I find myself guilty of wasting my time on this and on dozens of other useless entertainment.
I've learned that I can spend an entire day fasting, praying and dissecting His word, but all it takes for all that to unravel and disappear is for me to catch an episode of a favorite TV show or even just to let my wander to a dark place of envy or insecurity. All of a sudden what started as a glimpse, turns into a black hole that sucks all the peace I acquired right out of me.
Yesterday, my pastor preached about hobbies and he said something that struck me completely unaware. He asked the following question: can a Christian also be an avid sports fan? No. If you can recite (enter your favorite sports team name here) players, stats, info backwards and forwards and you dedicate a large portion of your time to watching or attending their games, then you are merely a person who loves sports.
A Christian on the other hand is someone who lives and acts exactly like Christ did. A Christian dedicates every day and every spare minute to seek God's face - learning what pleases the Lord and living that way. You can't be a Christian and a sports fan - that's an oxymoron. So, that means I can't be a fashionista, movie fanatic, etc.. and a Christian. That blows my mind (and it will probably upset a few of my close to nonexistant readers).
So next time your friends suggest a night out on the town, or a new movie you've been dying to see finally comes out in theaters, ask yourself...
"Is this where I want to be when Jesus comes? Is this what I want to be doing/wearing/thinking/saying/seeing if Jesus arrives at this time?"
If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn't do it. Or that's what I'll be doing as I try to get closer to God. And maybe someday soon I'll get to a point where God is literally my everything and I hunger to be with Him and think about Him every single minute of my every day. Then maybe such a test wouldn't even be necessary, because doing something to displease Him is just unfathomable.