A follower vs an admirer, or (the test of a true disciple)

I heard this quote from Soren Kierkegaard, a great philosopher, while listening to a podcast. It’s one of those quotes that made me stop and go, “Wow,” and then listen to it again.

“There is something frightful in the fact that the most dangerous thing of all, playing at Christianity, is never included in the list of heresies and schisms.

The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter who you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifice. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires.”

– Soren Kierkegaard

It really makes you think, “am I really a follower of Jesus?” Am I really his disciple? I mean, I even taught back a few months ago one what it really means to be a disciple… the act of giving up everything you know and are to follow the rabbi and be just like him – to do the things he does, to go where he goes, to speak like he speaks, to act as he acts, and to live as he lives.

This simply re-emphasizes the point. You cannot call yourself a true disciple, or a follower of Christ at all, unless you have sacrificed. How many Christians like to practice safe religion, where God is over here and everything else is over here and never the two shall meet? We compartmentalize our faith so that our lives can be easier and we can do what we want and still play like we are following Jesus. How wrong we are.

A true follower – a disciple, sacrifices to learn from the Master. And sacrifice hurts. So I ask myself… what have I given up? What have I sacrificed? What am I still holding on to that I don’t feel like totally surrendering? And why do I resist when deep down I fully know and comprehend that a life of surrender, where I am totally submitted to the will and call of God is the best possible life? That this is how human beings were – how I am – meant to live and until that point is reached life and my existance will not be in perfect sync and rhythm with the heartbeat of God.

Then Jesus said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

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