I wonder if that is the way we Christians have advertised the Christian life. Have we invited people to a life that promises a spiritual walk with Jesus while letting them still live life on their own terms? Do we try and offer the “best of both worlds”? Christianity that requires little effort and will not inconvenience anyone? The image we show is of a life with no problems, no worries, and no pain. So do people see the image and become skeptical? Do they realize that something in that view of the Christian life does not add up?
I think a more honest health ad would be a picture of a real person sweating on a treadmill with a caption that talked about months of hard work to lose a few pounds. Maybe it would even declare that there are no shortcuts and that the way to real health involves a commitment to a lifestyle of exercise, proper rest, and a reasonable diet. Deep in my heart I know that is the only way to look and feel better. There are no shortcuts. The image ad is not really fooling anyone. They know it, and I know it.
Christianity works that way too. It is a call to a lifestyle that is radically different. Honestly, it is an invitation to a life that will still have trouble in this world. But it is an invitation to be in a relationship with the One who has overcome this world. So to follow Jesus is not easy. It is not without pain and it is not without struggle. It does, however, work. It gives purpose and meaning in a world of confusion. It is real.