Of course, we know that many Christians are not committed to their faith in any serious way. We also know in our own hearts that there are aspects of our own lives that are not in alignment with Christian teaching. No one has arrived at the destination of discipleship as long as they walk among the living. Yet there is clearly a difference between a person seeking to be a disciple and a person who has little interest in that level of commitment.
A disturbing realization I had one day was that in some aspects of my life I am striving to be a disciple, but in other aspects I’m really just a fan of Jesus (and more worrisome, seemly content for that to be so). In other words, while I admire Jesus’ own lifestyle and that of His followers over the centuries I’m not so sure I’m ready to do the same. I say, “yes, thank God for people like Francis of Assisi, or the many local saints I’ve know in my Christian life who give so sacrificially of their time, talent, and treasure,” but I’m not going to do that – not at that level – good for them!
I think all of us would do well to come to terms with the fact that often we are more fans of Jesus than we are followers. This recognition will help us to be more humble and less prone to judge others whose Christian commitment we believe is lacking. In addition, this recognition may awaken in us a need to repent and by the power of the Holy Spirit to surrender to Christ in deeper ways.