One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I am one by choice. Not once has God ever forced anyone to believe in Him, or to follow His guidelines. What so many Christians forget, is that just like many other choices that we make in life, it comes with consequences.
My husband and I are contemplating buying a new “ride”. We have recently realized that my Ford Escape will not be very comfortable for my 5’7″ step-daughter when she tries to squeeze in beside little Hila Fay’s carseat. This is not a decision we’ve made lightly, we’ve looked at alternatives, reviewed our budget and finally made a choice to find a vehicle (within a certain price and payment range) that would be better for our whole family.
Now no one has forced us into that decision, we have done it of our own free will. We must keep in mind, though, that that choice does comes certain responsibilities and consequences if we do not do what we agree to. When we sign the paperwork, we are agreeing to make payments, each month on time. If we have a late payment then we will be then be responsible for additional late fees. If we continually make the payments late then we’ll have multiple (costly, mind you) late fees, our credit score can be affected negatively, and we run the risk of the vehicle being reposed. If we choose a vehicle that, the payments are too high and we make the payments anyway then that could take the money away from other necessities (food, electric, diapers…).
Choosing to be a Christian, to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, is much the same. God does not force us to believe. He doesn’t grab us by the collar, haul us down the aisle at church, and throw us on our knees demanding that we say the believer’s prayer and follow His ways. He doesn’t have muscled men in black who follow us around threatening to break our fingers until we get “saved”. No, He places a burden on our heart then leaves the rest up to us.
Once we make the choice the accept Christ as our Savior we are choosing to believe in His Word and agreeing to abide by it (even the parts that don’t sound like too much fun). That means that just as with the responsibilities with our new vehicle, we have responsibilities to Christ. He lies down his guidelines and, like it or not, expects us to abide by them.