I’ll Pretend You’re Serious About Jesus If You’ll Pretend I’m Serious About Jesus…

When I was a kid, I played a lot of games; board games, card games, outdoor games, and even some video games (I’m kinda old).
But lately, I’ve lost my taste for games.
It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with games in and of themselves; I just don’t have the desire or the time to play games.
One of the reasons that I no longer have any desire to play games is because I came to the realization that I have spent my entire life watching people play games.
Real life games that is… in that their lives are something of a game.
Now, this would not matter to me so much if I were an unbeliever; I would just join in the game.
And even as a believer, it really doesn’t bother me that unbelievers play games; I don’t expect much from unbelievers.
What bothers me is watching supposed believers play games with Jesus.
Of course, they don’t call it playing games; that’s the most important rule of the whole game.
Playing the game means that everyone pretends that no one else is playing a game. Everyone pretends like they themselves are serious about Jesus and in turn, they then pretend everyone else is also serious about Jesus.
And that is how the game is played. It’s the “I’ll pretend you’re serious about Jesus if you’ll pretend I’m serious about Jesus” game.
But what messes the whole game up is when someone actually goes and gets serious about Jesus; and then, stops playing the game.
Because when one person gets tired of playing the game; they then have to stop just pretending to be serious about Jesus; they actually have to be serious about Jesus.
But not only that, they also have to stop pretending that everyone around them is serious about Jesus. And this makes everything and everyone uncomfortable.
Because; if you are playing the game of pretending to be serious about Jesus, you have also probably surrounded yourself with other people who are playing the game of pretending to be serious about Jesus.
All of your friends and family members may be people playing the game. And if you were to get really serious about Jesus, then you would make it uncomfortable for them to be around you, because you don’t play the game anymore.
You may even belong to a church where everyone is playing the “I’ll pretend you’re serious about Jesus if you’ll pretend I’m serious about Jesus too” game.
You might even be the pastor of a church who plays that game.
And if you actually get serious about Jesus, your friends, family members, and even fellow church members might not want to be around you anymore because you don’t play the game anymore.
Because realistically, the people you are playing the game with are most likely a mixture of true believers and unbelievers. You just can’t tell the difference because they are all playing the same game.
And, the only way to find out who is really a believer, is to interrupt the game. Because, you really dont know which side anyone will fall on until you do so.
Moreover, you will probably be shocked at some of the people who reveal themselves to be unbelievers when they refuse to quit playing the game.
As a result, some of the believers would rather keep playing the game than go through the turmoil of finding out who doesn’t really believe in Jesus.
This is one of the costs of following Jesus as His disciple in America. You have to be willing to interrupt the game and find out who is willing to be serious about Jesus. And doing so will cost you relationships, friendships, and social standing.
I have sat with pastors and church leaders who have expressed that they were tired of playing the game and wanted to get serious about Jesus. But I have also watched the fear build in their eyes as they realized what it would cost them to disrupt the game. And in the end, most of them go back to playing the game.
Personally, I don’t care. I’m sick of playing the game and watching everyone else play the game. I hate playing the game.
I want to be serious about Jesus and be involved in relational discipleship with other people who are serious about Jesus. It has already cost me friendships, relationships, and social standing. It has cost me time, money, and what my flesh feels it deserves.
But none of this should really surprise me, because Jesus told us to consider the cost before following Him as His disciple. He stated that if we were unable to fully commit and fully surrender everything (including close relationships) then we couldn’t follow Him as His disciple.
Furthermore, Jesus stated that false disciples who were unwilling to sacrifice everything to follow Him, were more worthless than spoiled salt which would even defile a manure pile. That is to say, they more worthless than manure. At least manure has value and a purpose.
Jesue said:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.'”
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”
“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (Luke 14:26-35).
It doesn’t sound like Jesus is playing games either.