It’s incredibly hard to be an adult today. I share anecdotes with friends throughout the day about “adulting” and how hard it is. As kids we look up to adults and think, My! How awesome to own your own house, be your own boss, buy your own stuff… But, when we grow up it’s a lot of, well, responsibility–responsibilities that come with owning big things like houses, managing your own finances, time, and family, and even buying stuff is not that awesome when you watch the money go as fast as it comes.
Christianity is Hard
#AdultingIsHard is a well-known and well-used hashtag on Twitter and other social media. Hashtags are a way that users find their own community by linking together in some way. If you look at this particular thread of comments, you’ll most likely find new parents, college students, Millenials, and middle-agers finding solace in the fact that no matter what age you are, adulting is still hard.
If I were to look for community online or IRL (in real life) right now, I’d look for the people who admit #ChristianityIsHard. I want someone with a Bible in their hand or standing at the pulpit to stand up and say this is hard, this is real, this is life. I want someone like Jesus who sees the thorn in my flesh, and Who felt them Himself, Who wore a crown of them pressing into His head, and answers, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12: 7-9).
Loving is Hard
Learning to Love Jesus is an ongoing experience, because as you find you love Jesus, you will be challenged to love others over and over again. Accepting others, forgiving others, teaching others, loving them–this is what makes Christianity hard! It hurts sometimes. It hurts to forgive people who hurt us. Maybe they do it over and over again. Maybe they can’t help it. Maybe you can’t help but be angry. Really you can’t, and that’s okay. That’s only human. It is the flesh that makes us weak. It’s the flesh that made Paul war against the Spirit living in him in Romans 7. It’s the flesh that had Jesus in the garden begging for His Father to let the cup pass from Him (Matthew 26:39). It wasn’t easy to be Jesus. It wasn’t easy to endure the abuse, the pain, the separation from His family, the long travels, the solitude, fasting, and death. None of it was easy for Jesus, and it wasn’t for His Father either.
When Love Comes Easy
Sometimes I think about God’s love, and how hard it must have been for Him to give up His Son for a world of sinners. Then I look at my kids, my three boys, and I know without a doubt, that I would give anything for them. I would love them no matter what they could possibly do or say or become. I would never stop working for them, praying for them, wanting them to be near me–and just like that, I know how easy it is for God to love me, to forgive me, to help me. And, really, it’s not Christianity that is hard. It’s letting go of the past life, the skeletons.
The conflict, the worldly passions, the grudges, and anger–all these are dusty skeletons under my bed. My room looks nice. The floor is swept. The bed is made. The sun shines in the window. But those skeletons are under my bed, poking me when I get on my knees and pray. They’re keeping me from a restful sleep. They’re stinking up my life, but they’re too heavy to haul out all on my own. Speaking as someone who has forgiven big wrongs and let go of deep and painful anger and given it up to God, I am telling you that it is the easiest thing in the world to forgive. It is the easiest thing in the world to let go and let God handle it, and who better to handle the dead flesh in our life? Paul says it best to close out one of my favorite passages in the Bible: “Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7: 24).
#AdultingIsHard, it’s true. I’d rather be a child again, a child that forgives without a grudge, who smiles first, who reaches up for help, and who loves fiercely and unconditionally. When Christianity is hard, I look up to my Father again, and again.