Do you remember when Jesus said those famous words, “Follow Me, and you’ll be trouble-free”? It’s in Luke, I think. Or maybe Mark. Actually, it sounds like something we’d like for Jesus to have said, but He didn’t. It can be confusing to keep track of what Jesus did and didn’t say, which can make it even more confusing to know how to apply His teachings to our lives. Maybe you’re confused about life and want to know: Is following Jesus easy or hard? Well, the answer is yes.
Following Jesus isn’t Complicated
Jesus told us in Matthew that He didn’t come to burden us with more rules. In Jesus’ time, people often felt they had to be perfect rule-followers for God to love them. It sounds a lot like today, right? But Jesus offered us an alternative, simple way of life—“Love everybody, always” (to paraphrase Bob Goff).
We don’t have to perform to earn God’s love. We already have it. We don’t need to complicate life by doing tasks we think will make God love us more. It’s not always easy, but it’s simple.
But here’s the thing: Loving God and loving people—all people, all the time—is where it gets complicated. We live with broken people in broken systems, which create a broken world. You and I know that life isn’t easy, just like Jesus promised. Yet, we find hope in our broken world by trusting Jesus when he says, “I am with you always”.
So Jesus’ teaching is easy because it’s simple. Love God; love people. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have a trouble-free life—quite the opposite. Your car will still break down at the worst possible time, companies will still downsize, and someday you’ll drop your phone in the toilet. The world is full of complex situations and difficult people.
Confused About Life? Find a Simple Way Forward
Life isn’t easy, but the weight of life is lighter when Jesus is with us. Instead of trying to follow a bunch of rules or being paralyzed with anxiety, simplify your life. How? by finding one person every day that you can show love to. That could look like saying a kind word, praying with them, inviting your neighbors to dinner, or serving a local non-profit.
So, you don’t need to be confused about following Jesus. Make it simple. Strip away everything that’s not you loving God and loving people. Start with living like Jesus. Life won’t ever be easy, but when the burden gets too heavy, you’ll never have to carry them alone.
Jesus didn’t come to confuse us. Instead, he came to love us and to show us the way to peace. He’s our ultimate example of what it means to be human. He even told us that we would do even greater things than He did. So, do it. Four simple words: Love God, love people. Easy or hard? Yes, every single day.