In responding to Jesus’ call to follow him, I must ask myself what it is I can do to get serious about kingdom-focused living. Am I really willing to seek the lower place at the table rather than the place of preeminence and respectability (Luke 14:1-11)? Am I really willing to give to the poor out of my abundance (Luke 19:8)? Am I really willing to touch sinners (Luke 7:36-39)? Am I really willing to proactively use my possessions for the good of God’s kingdom (Luke 6:38)? Everything in me balks at this kind of love and sacrifice. I recoil at the thought of forsaking the world and its values — whether religious, political, social, educational, or vocational. To be “sentenced to death,” to become a “spectacle to the world,” to be “fools for Christ’s sake,” to be “held in disrepute,” to go “hungry and thirsty,” to be “poorly clothed,” “persecuted,” “slandered,” “the rubbish of the world,” “the dregs of all things” — the apostle Paul might endure such suffering (1 Cor. 4:8-13), or maybe Ethiopian Christians. But I, Lord? Yet if I , as a Christian, do not practice what I preach, if I continue to major in the minors, if “poor in spirit” remains but a meaningless platitude in my own life, then I am merely an admirer of Jesus and not a true follower.
— David Alan Black