Before I cover the thoughts I have on the difficulty of living the Christian life, I need to be very clear at the beginning that what I am about to say has nothing to do with one becoming a Christian, nor does it suggest that one can cease to be a child of God. We become God's child when we accept His Son by faith (Jn. 1:12), and we are permanently sealed as such forever (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). For all my readers who believe they are earning their way to heaven, don't be ignorant; it is a gift! And to all those who live in constant fear that they will disqualify themselves by sins of commission or omission, don't be foolish; it is God Who works in you to do His will, and He will complete it (Phil. 1:6; 2:13). We didn't deserve to be called a child of God, and we still don't! We will spend eternity praising God for His awesome love with which He loved us (Jn. 17:23-24).
Even the world knows how a Christian is supposed to act. They know we are not to break the Commandments of God. They know we are to turn the other cheek. They know we are to have compassion on the poor. They know we are to forgive our enemies, and not only forgive them, but to love them. I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me, "I thought you said you were a Christian" when I failed to be Christ-like. Far too often, I am ashamed to say, and nine times out of ten, it is one of my family members. But God forbid that I should ever question them. They want everyone to understand that "no one is perfect," and for me to point out their sins is judging them. Seems like a double-standard to me.
This morning in my devotional reading, I read where Christians are to have good thoughts. We are not to think on the negative, but are to focus on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, and praise worthy (Phil. 4:8). I find that impossible for me. I do not believe it is possible for anyone else either. Just as it is impossible that I live a sinless life, that I love everyone, and that I die to myself daily, I believe it is impossible to think good thoughts all of the time. To begin with, the first thing Paul mentions is to think on what is true. It is true that all human beings are sinners. It is true that our country is about to self-destruct. It is true that the Church has failed to remain unified. The Lord added to His Body daily and man has spent two thousand years dividing it into individual organs. If one denies reality, then he is neither acknowledging the truth, nor is he being honest.
It is hard to go through life with "rose-colored glasses" and see only the good. To ignore the hungry, the sick, the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, and the rebellious, is the opposite of being like our Christ Who wept. The song said it best: "These rose-colored glasses, that I'm looking through; show only the beauty, and hide all the truth." Just as my Lord did, I weep over "my Jerusalem." I wish I could think like Paul directed, but I can not. God help me.