An interesting post came up on my Instagram account today. It said:

“If you’re going to be a true Christian, I’ll tell you one thing amongst others: It’ll be a lonely life. It’s a narrow way, and it becomes narrower and narrower and narrower.”

That sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? If that’s how we presented the Christian faith in the past it’s no wonder that we emptied the churches and chapels. Follow Jesus and you’re going to have a lonely and increasingly difficult life. Anyone interested? Me neither!

Thankfully that’s not the Christianity I espouse, or the Jesus I follow, but it may be what some of you assume it to be. Maybe you’re one of those people who assume that Christians are killjoys, and if you have to go somewhere, anywhere is better than church. You may believe that Christians are judgemental and out of touch with the real world. That may have been true in the past, I wouldn’t know, but it’s not true now. It’s just an urban myth.

Being a Christian does not commit anyone to a lonely life. When you become a Christian you join a church where you don’t just make friends. The Bible says about Jesus, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (1) As believers we are children of God and brothers and sisters to each other. We are family. There’s a wonderful description of the early Church, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. … They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.” (2) This is the family I recognise today in my church. We’re a group of disparate people from all sorts of backgrounds, and different ages, but we’re united in love for each other and for the Lord Jesus. There’s nothing lonely about it.

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about this? Christians are loved by God and by his Son, Jesus. This love is full on, unchanging and eternal. It says in the Bible, “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” (3) You can never be lonely since God is always with you.

What about the narrow way that gives the impression that the Christian life is tough? I assume this is based on these Bible verses, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (4) This is telling us that there are many ways to lose life but only one way to find it. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (5) Jesus is the narrow way that few find because they would prefer to lose their life indulging in the world’s sinful ways. Mind you, a few is still billions of people over time who have come to faith in Christ. Once you find the narrow way, i.e. you place your trust in Jesus, you enter onto a path where you are not alone, and it is not a path that gets narrower and narrower. The path is walked by many millions of Christians, and not in single file. It’s a path you can walk side by side with people who will love you, a path filled with joy as you live to please Jesus.

I don’t recognise a lonely, tough Christian life. I only know a happy, fulfilling, joyful, shared Christian life that makes me complete. That’s what Jesus offers to all who come to him. Why don’t you join me, and walk alongside?

 

Bible References:

  • John 1:12
  • Acts 2:44-46
  • Hebrews 13:3
  • Matthew 7:13