Many times over the years I have had people tell me that they just can’t do the serious Christian thing because if they did, they wouldn’t be true to self. This perspective on their life is both mistaken and tragic.
First of all, saying no to Jesus is not in the same category as saying no to mayo with your fries and going with catsup, or no to an iPhone and opting for an Android, or no to dress pants and pulling on a pair of jeans. It is not saying no to an unneccessary upgrade or to someone else’s preferences. It is saying no to the God of the universe. Picture a first grader saying no to learning math from Albert Einstein. Now multiply that by infinity. That is what we are doing when we refuse to take life counsel from God. We are essentially regarding his infinite wisdom as mere selfish or petty advice.
Secondly, saying no to Jesus is costly. If the unbeliever says no to following Jesus, the price will be eternity in hell—where the smoke of their torment ascends for ever. No path of “being true to self” is worth paying such a steep price. This is like Esau trading his birthright for a bowl of pottage (red lentil bean stew), except the consequences are eternal. And if a believer says no to serious discipleship, he still pays a hefty price—a great loss of reward. We read in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 of believers whose entire service to Jesus goes up in smoke and ashes at the judgment seat of Christ…no gold, silver, or precious stone remains…all had been wood, hay, and stubble.
Thirdly, it is a tragic misunderstanding—and a deceitful lie from hell—that men would not be true to themselves if they followed Jesus with all their heart. This line of thinking confuses being true to rebellious self with being true to self. They are not the same. In reality, there are two versions of every man that are true to self. The first version is what he would be if he lived this life for himself—for his sin and rebellious pride. The second version is what he would be if he lived this life for Jesus. And the Jesus version of self is far more fulfilling than the rebellious version. Every person who has ever surrendered his life to Jesus absolutely and entirely has discovered how true this is. We were created and designed for fellowship with God. In other words, we have been wired in such a way that we do not and can not enter into the joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment we were designed to enjoy until we say yes to Jesus. So, if any of you are hesitant on this point, let go of your petty temporal things and say yes to Jesus. You will never regret it.
“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”
Lee W. Brainard