Category Archives: Life

we value what we work for

We inherently attach value to the things we’ve worked the hardest to accomplish. And on the other side of all that effort, perseverance, and pain, we expect it all to be worth it.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.195

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how do you follow jesus

The people in your life aren’t expecting you to articulate every nuance of what you believe. In fact, most of them aren’t even asking, “How do you follow Jesus?” Rather, they are asking, “How do you follow Jesus?’

You can answer the first question in an e-mail. Or in a book. But you can only answer the second question by living your life in front of them. By waking up again tomorrow and making choice after gritty choice to take Jesus up on his invitation to follow him.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.199


love can only exist in freedom

When we give in to fear, we convince ourselves that we can’t be content until other people live up to our desires. As one writer observes, “When you cling, what you offer the other is not love but a chain by which both you and your beloved are bound. Love can only exist in freedom.”

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.171


when we practice, we change

As we have explored these tough choices (earlier chapters in this book, the purpose hasn’t been to convince you to agree in principle with any of them. The purpose is to promote action. Agreeing in principle allows us to remain as passive spectators to the life that Jesus is inviting us into. The call of the real Jesus is for us to move and participate in these new ways of living.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.184

In a 2004 article titled “Live More Musically,” journalist Andy Crouch explores the differences between purchasing music and practicing music, which he compares to “playing a CD [or] playing a fugue.” One of his main points is that we experience different levels of satisfaction with music we’ve learned to play through long hours of sacrifice than with music we’ve merely purchased.

[T]he music we purchase delivers almost all of its satisfaction up front. In other words, we’ll never be happier with a product we’ve purchased than when we use it for the first time. After that, our satisfaction level tends to go down.

But when we learn to play a musical instrument, the satisfaction curve moves in the opposite direction. During the early stages, there is little enjoyment. (Not just for us, but even more so for those who have to endure our attempts to blow air through a brass instrument or draw a bow across strings.) But if we make the choice to grit it out and keep practicing, in time something beautiful will happen. What at first were discordant noises will eventually become distinguishable notes. And those notes will eventually become phrases, melody, music.

“But when we practice, we change.”

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.188-9


giving is a loud, rebellious statement

Generosity is not a rule to be followed. It isn’t a nice ethic to live by. It’s a declaration about the way things actually work. The world is not closed, and God’s resources are not scarce or limited. They are abundant. . . So we distribute. We bring in to give out.

Choosing to give generously is a loud, rebellious statement to the world that God can be trusted.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.160


put flesh and blood on Jesus

Nothing puts flesh and blood on Jesus in our world more than loving others for who they are, not just loving who we want them to be.

Isn’t that the plot of the gospel? God’s relentless love towards us is demonstrated by his sacrifice while we were still an absolute mess. The apostle Paul says that Christ died for us “while we were still sinners.” He freely gave his love for us even though we wanted nothing to do with him. There were no conditions to his love, no fine print. And even if there were never any change in our lives, not even an ounce of acknowledgment of his love, he would still love us the same way.

We need to ask ourselves a difficult question: Can we, will we, walk the same path as Jesus and love the people around us while they are still sinners? If we’re serious about following Jesus by loving others, it means loving the people around us for who they are today, not just loving who we want them to become someday.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.172


the image of God showing through

We have been crowned with glory, created in God’s image, to create the future alongside him.

That’s why we feel a sense of fulfillment after we solve a complex problem at work, organize our homes, or type the final word on a manuscript. What comes to life at those times is our innate desire to rule and reign, to create good work, and to bring order to the world in the unique ways that we’ve been equipped by God. It’s the image of God showing through.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.131


designed to be known

Embedded deep in the fabric of our humanity is the need to be known. The need to connect. The need for intimacy.

It isn’t that we aren’t whole people on our own, but God designed a particular kind of strength and vitality that can only be experienced in the context of human connection to another.”

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.106


pain and trust

So the tough choice we face – which will tap into our reserves of grit – is to own our pain and then offer it to God for redemption. But we will make that choice only after we have decided that – despite whatever pain we may have been handed in life – God can still be trusted.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.86.


redeeming our pain

The easy Jesus, we think, is supposed to deliver us from our pain – relieving it.

But the real Jesus leads us through the pain – redeeming it. He causes good to appear where once there was only despair.

But here’s what it also means: We will never experience the redemption of our pain unless we are first willing to follow Jesus through it.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 88