Much of Christianity has a distorted view of discipleship. In our desire to see more people come to Christ, we may be guilty of offering a gospel that emphasizes the benefits of following Jesus while avoiding any mention of the cost involved. Since Christ didn’t sail through life without any challenges, why should we? For example, contrary to what many contemporary sermons suggest, following Jesus may not make your relationships better. It could become a source of contention because a true disciple’s love, devotion, and loyalty to Christ supersedes every other relationship. As Christians, we’ll frequently be tempted to compromise in order to avoid misunderstanding, criticism, rejection, or persecution. But as Christ’s followers, we are called to live a crucified life – and compromise undercuts the wholehearted nature of crucifixion. We cannot pursue the acceptance of the world and at the same time follow the Lord. Until we stand with both feet on the side of obedience, we forfeit assurance of God’s peace and blessings. Although discipleship is costly, the reward is great.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 3, 2019.