If you haven’t noticed, there are tons of self help books out there. They offer a few steps to make your life better. They promise if you’ll do these three things, your life will improve. Just like there’s no get rich quick formula, there’s no be a better you today formula. Both require hard work, dedication, and discipline. All the steps in the world won’t help you achieve what you want without those three things. You have to be willing and able to sacrifice the things you want now for a later payoff.
Living a Christian life is no different. There’s no three step program to being a better Christian. There’s no new formula that makes living like Jesus easier. People are looking for that, so publishers fill the void with those type of books. The steps seem so easy to follow until you try them out. When you fail, you wonder why you can’t be successful at living this life when you’ve read “Christianity for Dummies” over and over.
There’s no easy formula for living like Jesus taught us. There’s not an easy path to follow. If it were easy, the road wouldn’t be narrow with few who find it. Jesus warned us about these easy, self help Christianity books in Matthew 7:13-14. He said, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention” (MSG).
There are no shortcuts to God or to living a godly life. You can’t do it while focusing on other things. You’re going to have to give it your full attention. You’re going to have to put in effort, dedication, and discipline. Those things aren’t what saves you. They’re what helps you live the life lined out for us to live. There’s no easy way to do. You’re going to have to want it more than the temporary pleasures of this life. When you live like that, you’ll find you’re walking on an uncrowned road that is straight and narrow.