“Like” it or love it

Yesterday I scrolled through Facebook checking on the kiddies, young ladies from twelve to twenty-two who’ve crossed my path. They are special, these girls! Some crack me up with rants about pedicures or Justin Bieber’s hair. Others are intense, letting dramatic song lyrics do the talking. Usually they’re having fun.

About ten minutes in, one post in particular caught my eye. It was, well, intriguing. See what you think: A college student we’ll call Jana “liked” two groups that appeared side-by-side. Here’s what the News Feed reported:

“Jana J. likes Sin City and Jesus Saves.”

I am not joking. There I sat, staring at the screen trying to figure out Jana’s deal. Was this a mistake? Did someone hack her profile? Or was Jana actually a fan of sin AND Jesus? And if she was, then whattttt?

Before going on, please relax in knowing there’ll be no criticism of Jana. I haven’t spoken with her, so I don’t know what she’s thinking. I do realize she’s a new believer who’s learning what it means for Jesus to be Lord.

And new believers must grow into maturity; questionable choices don’t disappear the second we follow Jesus. Case in point: After my friend Tracey became a Christian, she told me about the experience using several profanities. 😐 She never noticed the missteps, and I didn’t dare mention them. All I know is she was glowing with hope, and in time Christ would fine-tune her heart (and her mouth).

As for Jana—She likes Sin City and Jesus Saves, in case you forgot—let’s use her post for some spiritual growth of our own. Several thoughts come to mind:

1) After we follow Jesus, we want to be like Him (Philippians 2:5 calls this “the mind of Christ”). We know that Jesus hates sin—He died to erase its eternal consequences—so we should hate it, too. Still tempted by some “attractive” no-no’s? One thing I’ve done is ask God to show me sin as it really is: rebellious, heartbreaking, and damaging.

2) After we follow Jesus, we often feel out of place. In fact, 1 Peter 2:11 calls us “aliens” in a world full of sin. There are activities we avoid, not because we’re better than anyone—without Jesus, we are nothing—but because God calls us to be separate. “Separate” as in ignoring those around us? Of course not. “Separate” as in detouring when everyone else heads to Sin City? Absolutely.

3) After we follow Jesus, the living is good! Jana “likes” the fact that He saves. So do I. But what exactly is He saving us from? Well, believers will walk with Him all the way to Heaven. (Yay!) But even now, life is abundant (John 10:10). You name it, the important stuff is yours through Christ: joy, love, peace, patience, kindness…. And one thing’s for sure, Sin City ain’t got that!

So what about you? What (or Whom) do you “like”? It’s one or the other, you know, the love of Jesus or the things of this world. I hope you’re firmly planted on His side of the fence, the one with rich, green pastures and a faithful Good Shepherd. That’s where real life is, my friend. Life that you’ll not only like, but love.

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“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel…” (Philippians 1:27).

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