Should I Be Living More Comfortably Than Jesus Did?

Are you familiar with the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus?  The lyrics are attributed to S. Sundar Singh. 

They go like this:

“I have decided to follow Jesus; (3x)
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow; (3x)
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me; (3x)
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow; (3x)
No turning back, no turning back.”

Sundar Singh was born in India in 1889.  He lived a very interesting life and you can read about him on Wikipedia here.  After an unusual conversion experience at the age of 16 Sundar become a “radical” follower of Jesus.  He is recorded as saying:

“I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord, but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God.”

Jesus said in John 13:16-17, “I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Since it is true that we as servants of Jesus are not greater than our Master, wouldn’t it also be true that we should aspire – as Sundar decided – to live a life no more comfortable or ostentatious than the one Jesus himself lived? Should we as Christians “belong to the road” and be homeless wanderers?

Stuff – Selling it Off!

Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Again, Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13)

So I wonder, “How attached am I to my possessions?”

I have a counter above the sink in my apartment. One of the items I keep there is a small pad of paper to jot notes down in. This afternoon I accidentally knocked it into my sink which happened to have water in it. My notebook was ruined and I found myself very irritated. A perfectly good notepad down the drain, so to speak.

Thinking about it later I wondered, “If I am so attached to STUFF that I feel grief over the loss of a $1 notepad, how much would it hurt me if I lost things I really cared about? Horrors! how much would it hurt if I lost everything I own?”

I decided it would hurt a lot. Uh-oh… I don’t want to be a slave and follower to stuff, I want to be a slave and follower of Jesus. If it hurts me at all – even the least little bit – to get rid of stuff, then I’m holding on to things too tightly.

So, I’ve decided to try selling some of my stuff on eBay.

After rummaging through some old junk, here’s what I’ve started with so far:

  • Two Go Kart Wheels – $21.50 (bought 8 years ago for a dollar)
  • 5 HP Briggs Engine – $61.00
  • First Post – Am I Denying Myself Daily?

    “Then he [Jesus] said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.'” (Luke 9:23-24)

    What did the Lord Jesus Christ mean by these words?  How does one practically lose his life?  In what ways are we to deny ourselves?  What does it mean to take up ones cross?

    As I work through trying to understand the answer to these and other questions and as I try to discern the practical implications of being a true follow of Jesus, I plan to post my thoughts on this blog. 

    I plan to also post short anecdotes describing experiences from my life. I’ll try to limit those to interesting incidents and cut out the “I had raisin bran for breakfast” type of detail.

    I’ll also share my thoughts on any books I may be reading, especially any that have to do with being a Disciple of Christ.

    However, I particularly hope that you – the spellbound reader – will feel free to comment on any posts of interest. I envision this blog to be interactive.