Americans love a buffet. It may be the traditional Thanksgiving feast laid out at grandma’s house. Or perhaps one prefers the dozens of options available at the Chinese restaurant. In either case, we love the choices before us.
When we have choices of what we are going to eat, we normally select those items that we like the best. I’d much rather have barbeque brisket and fried okra than I would a grilled piece of chicken. And my dessert preference would be pie and ice cream instead of a single, humble apple.
Too many times I see Christians treating Jesus as though he is a buffet. And I include myself in that group.
It is easy to want the parts of Jesus that we like and leave behind the parts we don’t.
- We will accept the mercy of Jesus, but want to ignore his justice.
- We want Jesus to forgive us, but we don’t want to repent of our sins.
- We cherish the love he gives to us, but we don’t want to show love to our neighbor.
- We expect God to bless us, even though we don’t want to share his blessings with others.
- We want him to grant us peace, yet we would rather numb our pain rather than find comfort in him.
- We want him to provide for our physical needs, even when we won’t take up our cross and follow him.
If we eat meals that consist only of sugar and fat, it will not be long until our bodies are malnourished and diseased. Likewise, if we only take those parts of Jesus that we like and ignore the others, our faith will be weak.
- Without his judgment, there is no need for his mercy.
- Without suffering, there is no need for his peace.
- Without our trials, there is no need for his perseverence.
- Without death, there is no need for hope.
May we all embrace Jesus today. Not just those parts that we find to be comfortable, but all of him.