I have often said that my life would be a mess without Jesus. That is true in many ways, as I need his grace, guidance, and work in my life.
There are other ways in which my life might have been better without Jesus. At least it would seem better at first glance to many people. I mean, without Jesus, I would never have to think about Church. Every weekend would be completely free to do what I want. That would also mean I would never have to worry about serving others over the weekend – so more time for me and the things I want.
Beyond that, I would not have to concern myself with generosity. I could keep every dollar I make for my pursuits. As a family who seeks to tithe, this would be a substantial financial bonus. Remove my financial gifts to the Church plus add in all the gifts my wife and I give to Church members each year along with those in need, and we would have more resources than I can imagine.
Finally, consider how demanding follow the will of Jesus can be for someone. For my family following Jesus has meant moving to a new city and starting a new Church from scratch. It has meant moving all over the country to serve in different Churches. With each move, I have separated my children from my immediate family and friends. The Lord has stretched my family and me to pursue his will in different locations and ways. Without him, I could have lived in the same town my whole life, near my family and friends.
If I did not have Jesus in my life, I could have more time, money, and security. The only thing I would not have is eternal life. When the crowds heard Jesus tell them the cost of following him, many people turned back. He asked his twelve disciples if they would leave too, and Peter responded for the group. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Peter realized that if we are only living for this life, following Jesus is not a good choice. Paul said to the Church in Corinth that if our faith in Jesus is only for this life, then we above all men should be pitied. Following Jesus does make this life better in some ways, but far worse in others. The only reason to keep yourself committed in faith to Jesus is because of eternity. Sure, it may make this life worse, but it will only make what happens after death that much sweeter.
You can decide to have the pleasures and comfort of this life, but only Jesus has the words of eternal life. I chose to follow him even when it does not make sense today because I am not living for today alone.