We all know the importance of a good, healthy diet. Balancing our plate with the right amount of fruits and vegetables is key to making our bodies work the way we want them to. Too many carbs, proteins, or fats can throw off our diet and cause severe medical issues.
The rise of the American buffet restaurant is an unusual phenomenon. While we know we need to eat healthy, we grab a side salad and then proceed to gorge our bodies on five plates of fried, battered, caramelized, and buttered briskets, bread rolls, and banana splits. It’s one reason I try to avoid them at all cost: I can’t trust myself. I go in with good judgment and then see that I could top a brownie with a cookie, dunk it in sprinkles, smear it with ice cream and put it under a fondue fountain. With my weakness for sweets, I just can’t go there.
We’ve also done this with Jesus. We’ve taken the sweet portions that we want to keep and thrown out the rest. Instead of a balanced diet, we’ve gone for sugary substitutes. Instead of nourishing fruits and crisp, fresh veggies we’ve filled ourselves chocolate milkshakes.
When we reduce the Gospel to ‘say this prayer’ instead of ‘model after this person’ we’re guilty of making Jesus’ life a buffet line.
When we want the riches and blessings of God without the carrying of the cross, we’re guilty of picking and choosing our favorite parts.
When we skip straight to resurrection without going through death, we distort what healthy spirituality looks like.
Let’s be honest, there are certain parts of theology that we all want to skip over. But a good balanced life of discipleship, like a good balanced diet, requires that we participate fully in all of it.
If we want to talk about how to create passionate followers of Jesus that grow in maturity, we need to present them with a full diet of healthy discipleship. The same God that says, “Worship me alone” is the same God that says, “If you hold a grudge, don’t bother worshipping me until you get that taken care of.”
How do you present a holistic model for discipleship? What ideas do you have? Chime in below.