So I don’t listen to the radio… the radio in my car goes up and down by itself, and rather than keep adjusting it, I just listen to cds instead. My cd player is finicky too though, and some days in the winter especially it takes a little while to warm up. A couple of weeks ago, I had one of these instances. The radio had set itself to Air1, and I decided to let it play between trying every few minutes to get the cd to play.

I wasn’t really paying attention to the djs because I’d rather listen to music than on-air personalities… but then they said something that caught my attention.

The djs were talking about relationships and break-ups, and they mentioned that there is apparently a huge percentage of break-ups between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Something about “what if the person had already bought a Christmas gift, so they didn’t want to break up THEN, but they didn’t want to do it again for Valentine’s Day”. They were laughing. Then a man called in who had 5 or 6 sons and told the listening world that they “frequently broke up during that period of time between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, always financially motivated”… and he was laughing the whole time. When he hung up, the djs commented amid their laughter, “Isn’t that hilarious?”

I had to turn it off.

I don’t find that kind of thing funny. In fact, I was very deeply disturbed that people on a Christian station would be laughing about something like this. Aren’t we, as Christians, supposed to be good examples? Aren’t we supposed to be different from the world?

I believe that, as Christians, we need to set examples of godly relationships… not laugh in the face of them.

All I could think of was how, if I were not a believer and ran across their Christian radio station… if I heard them laughing about frequent break-ups and the fact that they happened because of gifts and money… I would honestly not want to pursue Christianity. Because if I were searching for answers, I’d be looking for people who were set apart from the way the rest of the world lives. If Christians are the same as everyone else, what’s the point?

I know I’ve said it multiple times, but it can’t be repeated too much: when we encounter Jesus, we can never be the same again.

Jesus changes us. He transforms us from the inside out. Who we were before is gone, and He recreates us (2 Corinthians 5:17). This affects our words and our actions, what we watch, what we listen to, the people we surround ourselves with, the things we laugh about, the places we go… it changes who we are deep inside and that change spreads throughout our entire lives.

“The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Admirers might look like they love Jesus on the surface, at least somewhat. They say they do. They sing the “right” songs and they go to church every Sunday. They might even go on a missions trip here and there. They talk a lot about Jesus and how great He is. But they aren’t willing to give up anything or make changes in the way they live.

Followers, on the other hand, will do whatever it takes.. give up whatever they have to.. to give Jesus their entire life. To make Him their King. They’ll walk away from what they used to fill their time with… They will change what they laugh at… not because they think, “Oh, I’m a Christian now, so I shouldn’t laugh at this”… but rather because their mind is different now, and they honestly don’t find the same things funny. They’ll be repulsed by so much of what the surrounding world calls entertainment.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

I want to be a follower. Not just an admirer. I want my life to prove to others that I’m a follower of Jesus and that I’ve truly, deeply encountered Him.. and that I will never be the same again.