Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Call Me Narrow-Minded

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
Each day in my e-mail inbox, I get an "Inspirational Quote" message. 
As a self professed 'word junkie', I love words and phrases and ideas that can uplift and inspire. 
And I'm a bit of a quote collector as evidenced by the untold number of quote books floating around my house. 
Hey, you never know when you're gonna need a great quote! Don't judge. 

Anyway, the quote I received in my inbox the other day was this: 

"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As a Christian, this idea just doesn't sit well with me and I've been turning it over in my head for the past 3 days.
You see, the Bible tells us that there is only ONE road to fulfillment and happiness - it's the narrow road and it leads right through the person of Jesus Christ. And as Jesus himself says in the Matthew passage above, this is the road that leads to "life". Any other road He says "leads to destruction".
That doesn't sound like 'fulfillment and happiness' to me.
Does it you?

Some folks would call that being "narrow-minded". And if it's applied to the idea of living a life that's worthy of the love and mercy and grace that's been given to us by Jesus' death and resurrection - then by all means, call me narrow-minded.
I'm not saying I always succeed in living up to the standard of personal holiness that I'm called to, but when I focus on the narrow road (Jesus), then I come a little closer to getting it right.

And here's the thing, the narrow road doesn't mean that all the fun is gone out of life; it doesn't mean I can't be completely fulfilled and happy in the life I'm living as a redeemed child of God.

As a matter of fact, it's just the opposite -
because I KNOW that my future is secure
(Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life." Matthew 6:25a); 

and my past is forgiven and forgotten 
(Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you."
- Acts 13:38
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
- Isaiah 43:25)

I am FREE to live life everyday to the fullest and enjoy every second of it.

And BECAUSE I LOVE the ONE who made my fulfilled life possible, I CHOOSE to live it to please Him.
The Apostle Paul says it so well in 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24, 31:
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others" 
" So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

What it all really boils down to is this (and Jesus said it): 
Love God. 
Love your neighbor. 

That's the road I want to be on, and I can guarantee that you'll never be lost on that one. 
And if that's narrow-minded, sign me up.  

With a courageous heart, 

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