The Path Less Chosen


In light of the ongoing discussion from Monday’s post (“Killed All the Day Long“), I would like to talk about the path less chosen.

The idea of facing violence with something other than violence sounds crazy. “An eye for an eye” is so ingrained in us that “turn the other cheek” verges on madness. We are told we must always be vigilant so that others do not take away from us those things we believe own, even though the Scriptures say that all is God’s, we are not our own,  and to the one who asks for our shirt must go our cloak also. When asked to go one mile, why go two? Deny ourselves and take up a cross? How could any of that cloak-giving, cheek-turning, self-denying, and second-mile-going possibly profit us?

The older I get in the Lord, the more I understand that we humans are too often people who live at the poles of thought and practice. We think in terms of black and white, especially in the West (oddly enough, given the advanced education we Westerners have received). Attempting to see colors beyond those two is left for misty-eyed dreamers and ivory-towered philosophers. So rarely are we able to lay down our own pride and prejudices to step into the lives and minds of others, especially those whom we see as foes.

The problem of living in such a state is that we miss the path less chosen. The narrow path, by definition, is the one not often found. And it remains obscure because we do not have the mind of Christ, the mind that sees all things as they really are. For some of us, even when we do know the right way, our own willfulness and pride keep us from taking that narrow path.

A few weeks ago, I posted “A Dozen Sayings of Jesus That Will Change the World—If Christians Would Ever Believe Them.” Many of those sayings go unheeded because they ask us to move out of our extremes into a third way, which is Christ’s way. They put us on a narrow path that few take because the majority fails to understand how that path will lead anywhere useful. Such is the nature of our weak minds and hearts that we miss God’s way so readily.

For the rest of the week, I would like to open the conversation by asking a question of readers:

In what situations has Christ led you on a narrow path that was incomprehensible to others, even fellow believers, yet that choice led to major blessings?

Like Unto Him


Lately I have been struck by all the division I see within the Church, especially in America. Many people are abandoning their churches and either moving to another one or starting their own. I’m not sure we Christians are growing in numbers across the country, but we sure seem to be hopping churches like mad.

The more I think about it, the more it seems that all we are doing is dividing ourselves into ever smaller—and potentially less effective—particles of Christianity. I can’t believe this is what Christ had in mind for His bride.

And this takes me back to the crux of the problem: What does Jesus have in mind for the Church?

God’s thoughts are far beyond any mere man’s, but the promise of the Bible is that as we mature, we become more like Jesus – and that means we think more like Him. Given that His thoughts are not a jumble of divergent theologies, I’ve got to believe that as true Christians grow in Christ we begin to take on Christ’s mind, therefore beginning to not only look and think more like Him, but also more like each other. For if each person who claims Christ’s name is growing in Him, we should all begin to think along the same lines as our Master. The natural recourse of this is that divisions should be decreasing, not increasing, as we take on the mind of Christ.

It’s a simple transitive math theory: If A=Jesus and B=Jesus, then A=B.

Extrapolate that out for all the variables that bear the mark of Jesus and you have one inescapable conclusion. The more each Christian looks like Jesus, the more he/she looks like the rest of those in the Body of Christ.

Now this does not eliminate our gifting differences, our talents, our personalities, or even the fact that we tend to emphasize different portions of the walk of Faith differently from one to another, but it does mean that we all come to a single Truth.

Church, are we in line with a single Truth? Do you believe a single Truth exists that governs the life of the believer and makes us of one mind?