Have you ever played the game “would you rather?”
Someone offers two options, from the silly to the bizarre, and everyone takes turns explaining which option they’d choose.
Would you rather have a calculator in your brain or a camera?
Would you rather only ever eat peanut butter or chocolate?
Would you rather that the sky or love had a smell to it?
Would you rather risk your life for Jesus or risk alienation by associating with Jesus when you don’t understand His plan?
We actually do face “would you rather” questions in our hearts, and this last question was very real for a certain disciple named Peter.
Interestingly, Peter would have rather died for Christ (and cut off a soldier’s ear in front of an army to prove it). He opted for that bold opportunity for arrest and death, but choose not to be associated with Jesus once He was in cuffs, willingly standing before a judge and an angry mob while making no defense.
In the span of one day, Peter showed that in some circumstances, especially perplexing, difficult times, he’d rather die for Christ than live for Him.
Would you rather die for Christ than live for him?Would you rather die for Christ than live for him? Click To Tweet
At times, I’ve found Peter’s actions in this slice of history bizarre. But when I’m honest and humble, I see myself and the people I know making similar choices in smaller, safer things.
We’d rather boldly proclaim Christ on the internet to all the world than continue to gently, meekly share Him with disinterested loved ones over and over again.
We’d rather have a drastic surgery or sudden violent illness than a chronic condition that wears away at us, redefining our every day with pain and suffering.
We all have times and circumstances in which we’d rather do one really hard thing than a million tiny challenging things.
Although I haven’t read much by Eugene Peterson, I appreciate his concept of faith being “a long obedience in the same direction.”
So much of what taking up our cross looks like is sacrificing not the extreme, but the ordinary.So much of what taking up our cross looks like is sacrificing not the extreme, but the ordinary. Click To Tweet
We lay down our pride.
We give up our time.
We let go of our grip on money.
We love vulnerably knowing at some point we’ll be disappointed.
We continue to be kind to mean people who aren’t changing.
We “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Praise Jesus, living for Him involves dying to self again and again so we can be filled continually with “less of me, and more of Him.”
Eventually, Peter did die for Christ. But first, he lived for Christ and encouraged believers to do the same, whatever we face.
What helps you live sacrificially for Christ when you’d rather not die to self again?
The song “For The Cause” by Keith and Kristyn Getty is a wonderful call to worship for everyday life. It reminds me of Christ’s sacrifice and shifts my perspective to one of joy in sacrificing and surrendering to proclaim Him! “Let it be my life’s refrain, to live is Christ…”
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