Selling the Christian religion has come to be one of the core competencies of evangelicals. This has its origins in extending Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) inside the circles of our influence.
But, there are portions of the faith-life that don’t always sit well. These are some of the realities that Christians can struggle with:
Prayers aren’t always answered to our satisfaction. I don’t understand any faith-followers of God who enjoy having their prayers answered contrary to what they desire. But God is sovereign, and though we are commanded to pray, none of us can control God through our prayers. This is the reason prayer involves such supreme faith. It reminds us to pray more holistically, such as using the Jesus Prayer, or to pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving, or to pray for the understanding of God’s will and the power to carry it out.
Non-believers often cannot be’influenced’. We do not need to be Christians very long to come face-to-face with the fact that we peddle an unpopular message. It is only those that the Spirit has already been working in who are ripe for the gospel. This is a reality we’re both forced to accept as well as accept that we can’t force anyone to come to faith.
Christians can seem to suffer more than people who don’t think. Christians do suffer: John Wesley said,”One of the best evidences of God’s love to those that love him would be to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.” Sothere are two parts to this one evidence; the simple fact of afflictions that often come as persecutions, and the grace Christians receive with which to bear them. Being a Jesus follower does not mean that we flourish in our suffering. Nobody does. But it is a biblical concept to consider it pure joy when we suffer trials of many kinds (James 1:2-4).
Christians can not sin and be happy in their sinning. Yes, this is correct. For people with the Holy Spirit, there is the conviction of the Spirit. A Christian’s conscience won’t allow them to revel in wickedness. The conscience is piqued.
Christians can’t stop sinning. It has to bemuse the planet when it imagines Christians being’perfect’ in God, yet as they watch there are so many Christians that seem hypocritical. As followers of Jesus we sit on a knife’s edge straddling two opposed truths: we are sinners, but we are called beyond our sin. The only difference is the Christian accepts they’re a sinner, whilst the world either doesn’t accept this fact (as a truth about self) and/or does not care.
Christians are often frustrated with the church. But just as much are we frustrated by how the church is perceived in the world. We know that the church is precious to God, and that it grieves God’s Spirit once the church is defamed. But Christians know full well that the church is corruptible, as it’s run by a humanity under the leadership of God but not necessarily in submission to Him. If power gets to a person’s mind, that power is wielded sinfully. It’s misused and abused. The only hope for the church is that it actually operates with Christ as its head.
Christians are often not able to answer non-believers’ questions. Most Christians will struggle to answer theological questions to the satisfaction of people who ask them. It’s not hard to miss the mark or to miss the timing or to not get our words right. But the purpose of living the authentic Christlike life is not in what we say, but in what we do and how we do it; in how we live our lives.
Christians can’t appear to prove God to those who insist He isn’t real. This really irks some in the religion. They love their doctrines but can’t seem to generate some people budge. These same individuals will only be convinced by God Himself.
Christians are just as prone to addictions, grief, disappointments, and failure as anyone is. Perhaps more so in many circumstances. When we place our hope in God it’s easy to lose sight that we face the same temptations which are common to life. Most of us face the same types of enticements. We’re all tempted into envy and greed and lust, Ocala FL Wildlife Removal and pride. And all of us fall for these traps, Christian or not.
Christians don’t have any excuse to lash out at people. This doesn’t stop some Christians. But people who follow Christ absorb the hurts cast toward them and they attempt to process their hurts in positive ways. There are times, like for anyone made from feelings and flesh, when we would love to have our revenge. But we’re told that it’s God’s prerogative to avenge.
Christian faith can be as much about truly accepting the inconvenient and uncomfortable realities of life as enjoying the favour of God’s grace. But it’s not without cost. Indeed, new Christians need to know that the real life in Jesus is pricey, but of course the rewards far outweigh the costs.
And please do not get me wrong, most Christians would not have their own lives any other way.
These realities that Christians do not like about being Christian are precisely what mature them in the faith.