I love video games and I love comics so seemingly I should love the Marvel vs. Capcom series. As hard as it may be to believe, though, I actually don’t. The game is too complicated and, to be successful, requires an inordinate number of combos. When it comes to fighting games, I like to keep things simple with games like Street Fighter 2 or Dead or Alive 4.
When it comes to following Jesus, though, I like things to be anything but simple.
I love my life with Jesus to be super complicated. I like to add all sorts of rules and regulations. I like there to be convoluted theology. I like there to be gray areas when it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong.
I like my relationship with Jesus to be super complicated because when I slip and rebel I have a ready-made excuse.
“I’d like to follow Jesus and do what he says but it’s just so complicated. There’s all this superfluous stuff added on to what it really means to love Jesus. If I could just excise all the extra stuff, loving Jesus would be so much easier. But, since things are obviously over-complicated, I can’t be held responsible for my actions and choices.”
Fortunately following Jesus isn’t that complicated. In fact, it’s very simple. In John 15, Jesus says:
If you love me, keep my commands.
That’s it. In his own words Jesus boils down loving him to simply keeping his commands.
But to be honest, I don’t really like that verse; I wrestle with it. That verse, Jesus’ own words, isn’t that complicated and doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. If I love Jesus then I’ll keep his commands. If I don’t keep his commands then that means, at least in that moment, that I don’t love him. When it comes to loving Jesus, I wish it was a little more like Marvel vs. Capcom than Street Fighter 2.
In my better moments, though, I appreciate the simplicity of Jesus’ words. When it comes to Christianity there are a lot of confusing and complicated aspects. Theology, creeds and denominations provide more than enough confusion. Jesus’ words cut right through that confusion, though. And even if we don’t have a complete grasp of systematic theology, we can hear Jesus tell us, “If you love me, keep my commands” and live our lives for him.
What helps simplify your life with Jesus?