Sometime last year, I was reading someone’s blog and it was really good. She was an excellent writer and had many funny, insightful posts. I clicked on her “About” page to read her story. Somewhere amidst the names of her children, her favorite food, and when she started blogging was this brief sentence: I love Jesus, but I swear a lot.
And that sentence has remained in my head to this day because something about that sentence drives me crazy. When I read that sentence, I really read this: I will admit I’m a Christian, but please don’t leave my blog! I’m not one of those annoying people who really loves Jesus. See, look, I swear! Just like you.
Whether or not that’s what she meant, that was the message she was sending out. Since then, I’ve read and heard so many other similar statements. They might not word for word match the way she wrote it, but their intent was the same.
I love Jesus, but I drink too much.
I love Jesus, but I don’t think having sex before marriage is wrong.
I love Jesus, but I cheat on quizzes.
I love Jesus, but I will support every movement culture deems acceptable.
What’s wrong with all of these statements? These people are essentially declaring that their love for Jesus is limited by their love for the world. They will follow Him, as long as they can fully participate in the activities of this world.
That’s not what Jesus is about. In Matthew 4, He begins calling his disciples into ministry with Him. His famous words were, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The chapter also records the reactions of the disciples. Verse 22 says, “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” The disciples did not add any conditions to their commitment to Jesus; they just followed Him.
What follows the “but” in your life? Whatever it is, drop it off. “I love Jesus” period sounds a lot better.