One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I am one by choice. Not once has God ever forced anyone to believe in Him, or to follow His guidelines. What so many Christians forget, is that just like many other choices that we make in life, it sometimes comes with consequences.
Recently my husband and I realized that we were going to have no choice but to buy a new “ride”. The transmission went out in my red Ford Escape and with Chuck taking his Master Electricians class every Thursday evenings; two vehicles are a requirement right now. We know this purchasing a new vehicle is not a decision that should be made lightly, we looked at every alternative possible, reviewed our budget and finally made a choice to find a vehicle (within a certain price and payment range) that would meet the needs of our family.
Now no one forced us into this decision, we have done it of our own free will. We must keep in mind, though, that this choice does comes certain responsibilities and consequences if we do not do keep our commitments. When we sign the paperwork, we agree to make payments, each month, on time. If we have a late payment then we will be responsible for additional late fees. If we continually make the payments late then we’ll have multiple (costly, mind you) late fees, our credit score will be affected negatively, and we will run the risk of the vehicle being reposed. If we choose a vehicle that the payments are too high, and we make the payments anyway, then that could take the money away from other necessities (food, electric, diapers…).
Choosing to be a Christian, to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, is much the same. God does not force us to believe. He doesn’t grab us by the collar, haul us down the aisle at church, and throw us on our knees demanding that we say the believer’s prayer and follow His ways. He doesn’t have muscled men in black who follow us around threatening to break our fingers until we get “saved”. No, He places a burden on our heart then leaves the rest up to us.
Once we make the choice the accept Christ as our Savior we are choosing to believe in His Word and agreeing to abide by it (even the parts that don’t sound like too much fun). That means that just as with the responsibilities with our new vehicle, we have responsibilities to Christ. He lies down his guidelines and, like it or not, expects us to abide by them.