What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Following Jesus isn’t easy. And to be honest, everyone who is a follower of Christ struggles with it from time to time. But exactly what does it mean? What does it take?
To follow Jesus, you must strive to love others unconditionally, to forgive quickly, and be merciful. Pray for those you love and those who mean you harm, be strong in your faith, and judgement free. Basically, follow the teaching Jesus provided for us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).
Does following Christ mean you aren’t a Christian? Heavens no! Over the years, society has begun to label Christian’s as hypocritical and closed minded. As people who don’t believe in an individuals rights (pro-choice, same sex marriage, other religious views, supporting refugees).
The term “Christian” actually means Christ-like. Am I a Christian in this sense? I hope I am. I strive to be more Christ-like everyday. But I’m also a person who has endless flaws, am insecure to a fault, and am really broken. I’m definitely not pure and sinless. No, I’ve got a past full of sin. And I’m sure I’ve probably sinned several times today alone.
So while others might call me a Christian because I go to church and am pro-life… I’d much rather be called a Christian because others can see Christ in me through the fruits of the spirit outlined in Galatians.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
The dictionary defines a Follower as an adherent or devotee of a particular person, cause, or activity.
So to be a Christ follower means joining the mission of Christ. Following his path. Sometimes by the guide left for us in the Bible. Other times, blindly. Because when you truly follow someone, you might not always know where you are going, or even how you are getting there. You might only know that you have arrived when the person you are following tells you.
That’s what I am doing. Or attempting to do. Follow the path God has set before me. Looking ahead, and trying to make sure that I didn’t take a wrong turn somewhere. If I made a left instead of a right, I just re-route the GPS (God positioning system) and get back on course.
Am I perfect? No. But I’m following the one who is.