Jesus does not invite would-be followers with a “try it, you’ll like it” approach. Nor does He offer “test drives” or opportunities to “try it on for size.” What He requires is the kind of faith that will make a “once-for-all-time” decision to follow Jesus in humble obedience to His will.
While we must count the cost of discipleship (Lk. 9:23), faith’s decision must be a whole-hearted response to the good news of Jesus Christ. Such a response is marked by a completely new direction in life. It is a spiritual rebirth followed by spiritual transformation.
But, good starters are not always good finishers. Jesus spoke to the foolishness of entering into a building project or engaging in an armed military conflict without due consideration of the resources necessary to complete the project or win the battle (Lk. 14:28-32).
Deciding to follow Jesus is life’s greatest decision. But, there must be no turning back, none whatsoever. We don’t put Jesus on probation while we try Him out and see if He is worth the cost. Nor do we test the water with the tip of our toe while the rest of our body waits on the outside until it is deemed safe to make a gradual, bit by bit, entrance into the pool.
Faith takes the plunge and trusts Jesus to keep His promises. Faith is a way of life, not a hobby. It cannot be “tried out.” It can only be lived and absorbed into the fabric of who we are as His people. For the true disciple, Jesus becomes life and light and hope (Ph. 1:21; Col. 3:4; Jn. 8:12; Heb. 6:19-20).
Rejecting Christianity after “trying it out” is like claiming to be a zero-handicap golfer but giving up the sport as “unworthy” without ever having stepped a foot on the golf course.