YourDictionary defines cliff-note as ‘a summary of a much longer work designed to allow a student to quickly learn the key points of the longer work’
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.”
The above is what Jesus Himself tells his followers in Mathew 7 v 14 per Eugene Peterson’s MSG paraphrase of the Bible.
While I do agree that there is a time for cliff-notes, I do believe that our Christianity should not be based on cliff-notes and shortcuts.
This faith that we have was not birthed in convenience, so we cannot build our own faith on same.
In this blog, I share 5 thoughts on why we should rethink Convenient Christianity, and invest the time, energy and focus required to rock it out.
First thing I want to say is that I have a YouTube video that goes hand in hand with this blog, and it tackles, on a broader level, why we all need to rethink convenience as it comes at a cost.
I am afraid we are becoming such a generation in a hurry, looking for shortcuts and the easy way out to everything, that we may soon hurry our way right out of the ways and will of God for us.
We see the same when we want to lose weight. 10kg in 2weeks please. Thank you.
We see same in homes now. We are completely losing traditional and ancient values that we should have only let technology modify, but at a very expensive cost.
The above are two blogs I did that cover family and fitness, and here, let us tackle the convenient Christianity lifestyle.
I have five thoughts and I pray that if any of it sounds like you, you are convicted enough to repent, and then lead others within your circle of influence to do same.
- We love our convenient short services
Oh, we don’t mind spending 3 to 5 hours catching up on our fave series or movie on Netflix, or even gisting with a friend, but God forbid the church service or event goes longer than the 1hr 30mins advertised.
Now, while I agree there are other matters like discipline, and content, most of us will agree that we just don’t want to spend time with God and in His presence because we find other things more interesting than Him.
We forgive the wedding that started late and lasts longer than we plan as we dance and socialize the night away, but heavens forbid your Pastor takes an extra 15mins to preach and do an altar call, YOU ARE OUT complaining about how church needs to manage time better. When Jesus fed the 5k, He certainly didn’t plan to preach that long, but He did because the time was right. Paul too, because he was travelling the next day, preached literally all night (Acts 20 vs 9) and one dude, Eutychus, fell asleep and fell to his death below, lol. Thankfully Paul raised him from the dead.
While structure and planning are good, sometimes the HS wants a bit more room and we must be sensitive enough to let Him, especially where it won’t disrupt anything else.
Joel Osteen once spoke of a guest minister who took way longer than normal and when the children’s church had closed, they had problems managing them, plus parking space and all. So I know that sometimes, things like these may happen, but for the most part, there is nothing we are rushing out of church for other than to go and feed our distractions.
Closely related to number 1 is number 2.
2. We love our convenient short sermons
Well, I happen to attend a church that lasts only 1hr 15mins, with sermons taking about 30mins of it, but sometimes it goes a little longer and I am here for it.
I also love to listen to sermons that are 2 to 4 hours long from AJS and PDDK who are primary teachers of the Word to me. I make room for it.
Let’s not always look for the 10 minute version of messages on YouTube but sometimes sit through the longer 2hour version of the complete message especially when you sense God has a word for you there. While I am thankful for the short clips, I also know they are incomplete and the message there is taken away from the larger context, so I like to search further for the full message.
And if you are reading this and your YT channel thrives on those short clips, please help us add the title of the full message so we can go there and listen too.
One is MILK, and the other is MEAT
Mature believers like you and I need MEAT not MILK.
3. We love our convenient short books
Ah, once a book is more than 50 pages in the half A4 size, count us OUT. Yes, there are places for books like that, but a balanced Christian knows that some books and topics cannot be ‘cliff-noted’. The Author needs to go deep and the Holy Spirit needs room to fully express. So please make it a practice to find books that speak to current situations in your life needing wisdom and even when it is long, discipline yourself to finish it.
I have a few blogs on tips for reading here.
4. We love our short, very short and convenient fasts
Of course, we believe in fasting as one of the cardinals of our faith, but God forbid we fast for anything more than once a month. In fact, once the church declares a 3-day fast, we count ourselves off, never mind 10 days, or (absolute horror) 100 days!!!
You didn’t kill Jesus , you say, so why fast until you die?
And even when you fast, 12 noon is the cut off time.
I am honestly amazed that we have some Believers, who have been born again for years now, and don’t have days to fast, and for longer than 12noon as a PRACTICE, not a one-off.
You don’t have to wait for the church to call a fast, FAST
You don’t have to wait until you have a problem, FAST!!!
It is not convenient for the flesh, it is not meant to be, and we need to shut that flesh down and activate the spirit, in Jesus name, so FAST!
That is how we grow, and NO I am not being religious or judgmental.
Many examples in the Bible of Saints who fasted, and then even JESUS Himself, were all for 40-days.
5. We love our convenient space
Yes, the true reason (beyond personality type) we love our space is that our space is CONVENIENT!!!
If we don’t let people in close enough, nobody sees our mess and so nobody can call us out.
So we are comfortable in our convenient ,even if messed up, space.
The next line I am going to write is so important so I will write it 3 times
And I want you to say it out loud
ACCOUNTABILITY IS A SUPER POWER TODAY
ACCOUNTABILITY IS A SUPER POWER TODAY
ACCOUNTABILITY IS A SUPER POWER TODAY
I am absolutely amazed as to how many of us just run away from accountability, especially spiritual accountability, and how closed we are to feedback..
Once anyone calls us out, it is judgement.
But part of being Christ followers means that we have rules that we adapt to and people to submit to, who we willingly give the permission and right to call us out when we are being foolish.
And this stands whether we are 10 or 100 years, CEO or Security Guard. there is always someone we can submit to.
So please let us abeg not love our convenience so much that we conveniently stay out of a rich life of purpose with its nuances, some sweet, some bitter, hard and painful, including those who invade our space and hold us accountable.
Ok, there you have it.
I hope you don’t just read this, but make several resolutions, like I have, to rethink convenience, embracing it with caution where you have to.
Remember, there are no shortcuts to God.
With all my (inconvenient) love hehe
Preparations are in earnest for our event for 700 stay-at-home moms. And it’s happening on the 9th of December
Details are here
Then our latest YouTube video is a rich combo of resources on faith, family and fitness. It’s connected to this very blog as well. It’s over our usual 10 minutes or less in duration but it’ll be worth your time and reinforce the fact that you should ditch convenience in every area of your life.
On my stay-home-moms blog, I talked about 5 ‘convenient’ foods you need to stop feeding your kids. Their health is so precious and you don’t want to trade it on the altar of seeming convenience.