Several years ago, I was in a bit of a post-college conundrum. I lived with two roommates I didn’t like, but rent so cheap I couldn’t move out. To be fair, they weren’t the ‘loud-and-obnoxious’ types—drinking, partying, and bringing friends over. In fact, they were a bit nerdy--the quiet-and-obnoxious types!
We tried being friends, but it was clear that we were forcing it. Well, I was forcing it—they were both nerds! They got along just fine. And every ‘house decision’ seemed to be me against them. I wanted to move, but like I said, the rent was so cheap.
Then one day, one of the nerds notified us that he was leaving--woohoo! It correlated perfectly with the arrival of one of my best friends to the L.A. area. I managed to convince the other nerd that we should rent out the room to him instead of ‘some stranger’. He obliged me, and the rest was history!
The power had shifted in my favor; the yoke of geek-dom had been broken! And collectively—my friend and I--made his life miserable. It was not fair; we were the ‘loud-and-obnoxious’ types—drinking, partying, and bringing friends over.
I’ll never forget the look on his face when he came home one night—hoping to study—but the apartment was packed with 20+ people! Some playing poker, some playing X-box; all drinking and puffing.
Our roommate opened the door, looked around, closed the door and left! Victory is mine!
This is our house now--you nerd!
For months we completely ignored the concerns of the nerd. Even when he approached us regarding bills, we brushed him off. We made it virtually impossible for him to live there—so he decided to move out.
His departure correlated perfectly with the arrival of my cousin to the L.A. area. This house was no longer divided. We did what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. No nerd standing in our way!
I know this story makes me seem like a mean person, but my hostility towards him didn’t materialize overnight. It was the proximity to each other that exposed the differences between us. I got close enough to him to know that I didn’t like him, and vice versa.
(Now I’m thinking to self: “How the heck am I going to tie into a positive lesson?!”)
Many of us were raised to be Christians, and we linger in the faith because… well, the grace is cheap. It doesn’t cost us much to simply believe in Christ—in regards to His existence and forgiveness. But as far as having a relationship with Jesus is concerned—well, it’s a bit forced. We don’t like the same things, in fact, we’re virtually opposites.
But we would never say, “Screw Christianity! I don’t like Jesus.” Despite that our lives resonate, “Screw Christianity! I don’t like Jesus.” Instead of just moving out of the faith and declaring ourselves ‘ex-Christians’, we stay despite the polarizing conflict between how we live and how Christ lived. Why? Because the grace is so cheap!
Or at least we treat it like it is.
We don’t feel the need to outright reject Jesus, especially since we have friends under the ‘Christian roof’ who are just like us. There’s false sense of strength in numbers within this ‘now comfortable’ Christianity. Christ steps in, looks around, sees that we aren’t willing to change, and walks out. (Hebrews 10: 26-29)
We have made it impossible for Him to live here. Silently, He moves out—leaving us to our own devices. His exit becomes an opportunity to do more sin—which is what we wanted to do anyway.
There’s an immediate correlation between silencing of the Spirit’s conviction, and the increase of sin without qualm. And all this happens within the house formerly known as ‘Christianity’.
This is our house now. No Jesus standing in our way!
Christianity doesn’t belong to Christ, it belongs to us. We continue existing here because the rent is cheap grace. We do under the guise of ‘Christianity’ whatever we want—unchecked. This house is no longer divided, because Christ has moved out.
Knowing Jesus exposes the disparity between our flesh-driven lives and His Spirit-filled life. We either yield to Him—giving up the entire house—or revolt.
“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8: 7-8