“For the gate is narrow and the road hard that leads to life, and there are few that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
I wonder how many Christians take time to ponder what this saying of Jesus might mean? We think to ourselves, “It could not be talking about me! I read the Bible every day; I go to prayer meetings; I absolutely love corporate worship!”
But, what kind of narrow way is Jesus promoting? Firstly, from Jesus’ words, we see that the narrow way is not the wide gate that is easy, but rather it is the narrow way that is hard.
As I reflect on my Christian life, has it been easy? Or has my expectation been that it would be easy? Am I taking the easy way out of my sin—explaining it away? Am I taking the easy way out of my marriage—instead of choosing to lay down my life for my spouse each day? Am I taking the easy way out of loving my kids—only when they agree with me and it is convenient for me? Am I taking the easy way out of loving those at my workplace—gossiping about others when I don’t agree with their stands on an issue?
What might the hard way, the narrow way, look like in each of these circumstances? What might Jesus be calling each of us to that may look more like suffering, more like being out of control, more like failure, rather than the triumphant Christian life? How could the hard path actually be the narrow gate that Jesus is referring to?
The hard path will inevitably be the path of letting go of myself—dying to myself—and living to Christ. It will be a difficult path of suffering and failure, persecution and downward mobility. It will not look like success, yet it will be a life of identifying with Jesus. The hard road will put others before myself, even my enemies. The narrow gate will seek the lovingkindness of the Lord for those who persecute me, slander me, and attack me. This is the hard way of love that Jesus modeled for us.
- What difficult road is Jesus calling you to accompany Him on?
- How might you choose the narrow gate in your daily walk?
by Kelly Erickson
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