Is It Hard To Be a Christian?

Some Christians say yes, and criticize those who would make it easy.  But let me hazard a more laid-back answer.  And let me note at the outset that Our Savior said, “For my yoke is easy, and My load is light.”  Matthew 11:30.

It’s not so bad being a Christian, considering the alternative, which is leading a life that is meaningless and damned.  That is, if you believe there is no God, then you have to try very hard to manufacture some meaning and purpose for your existence.  And if you are wrong in your unbelief, and you have ignored the God who does exist, then you are in a bad spot, are you not?

And what is demanded of you as a Christian?   Only everything about all your thoughts and actions:  You must not only refrain from doing all bad acts but also perform all the right acts, and on top of that you must also not only refrain from all bad thoughts but also think all the right thoughts.

The bad news is, of course, that none of that is remotely possible.  And so I was quite right to suggest at the outset that it is not hard to be a Christian:  It is impossible.  But the good news is that, as a Christian, God does not expect us to be perfect.  Someone Else met that requirement for us.

We are supposed to try, of course.  But is it so bad to live a life in which we try to be kind to people, and refrain from hurting them, and try to think well of people, and not fantasize about doing wrong and cruel acts toward them?  And is it difficult to try to love and serve Someone who has given us eternal life?

Postscript:  Those Christians who emphasize how hard it is to be a Christian are, one suspects, often the same ones who think a good Christian is one consumed with self-loathing guilt.  But isn’t that inconsistent with the Lord’s command that we love our neighbor our ourself?  I like this quotation from Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God:  “I am keenly aware of my faults, but I am not discouraged by them.  When I have confessed my faults to the Lord, I peacefully resume my usual practice of love and adoration to Him.”