Suffering as a Christ Follower Expanded

Millenials most of us have it pretty good. Most of us grew up with hard working parents that focused on possessions and giving their children [us] better opportunities than they had growing up. In a society that has become increasingly progressive there has also been an increasing amount of opportunities in career choice, prospective significant others, and socially acceptable hobbies-I digress.

Our society allows us to do many things; we are virtually able to do whatever we want because of how socially acceptable a number of activities and lifestyles have become. Who would have thought jumping from the stratosphere would become a lucrative and impressive career opportunity? Thanks to Red Bull anyone can go on Youtube, watch the video, and witness the “impressiveness” of a jump from the stratosphere. Who would have thought people could travel the world, start a blog, and somehow make enough money to live a lifestyle of travel, leisure, and relaxation? Thanks to the millenials and Gen-X’ers, this type of lifestyle has become ideal and admirable within many circles of society.

The society us millenials have grown in has groomed us to believe that we can find success in nearly anything we do and have the acceptance of society to go ahead and pursue the wildest of dreams-it’s America right?

If you are a millenial and proclaimed Christian you presently live in a brilliant and perhaps puzzling paradox of lifestyle possibilities. On one hand the world gives a green light and encourages a variety of initiatives in lifestyle choices; utmost freedom is abundant and at large. On the other hand Christian millenials ought to be wary of the call Christ has given to those that would choose to follow him. Ultimately, Christ mandates that we must make a sacrifice that is going to be of great cost; he asks us to suffer.

Suffering can look like a number of things; suffering as a Christian does not explicitly infer physical harm, although fasting can be thrown that category.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

-Romans 8:17

Suffering, in this case, might mean a denial of self. Christ denied himself his own needs and wants so the life of all mankind might be restored and redeemed.

Likewise, Christ calls us to make a complete denial of self and follow him at any cost; this is called surrender and obedience.

If we are to follow Christ, we are to be obedient and surrendered. The complete obedience and surrender and Christ, in a sense, is us choosing to suffer. Our propensity, because of our sin nature, is towards ourselves; we love to inherently focus on ourselves and our needs. On a daily basis we can choose to suffer in following Christ because we are taking something natural and effortless [to focus on ourselves and live by our own means] and replace it with something unnatural and tedious [the commands of loving Christ and loving others].

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