Jesus Didn’t Die for Our Preferences

By Pastor Tyler Chroniger

There is an on‐going problem in a lot of churches. This might come as a shock to you—or maybe you have not even considered that this is a real thing. Let me provide an example for context. You go to a church business meeting or even a conference business meeting. In that meeting, someone has a “great” idea to change the way things are done. Maybe the organization of committees is “muddy.” Maybe some fundraising effort “needs” to happen. Maybe the “vision” is presented to move the church to a more appropriate neighborhood. Maybe the color of the carpet in the church needs to be changed. Whatever the case may be, what usually happens in these circumstances are arguments and division.

Let me pose this question to you. Did Jesus really die for these things? Did Jesus die for us to argue over budgets, organizational structure, or even carpet color? The answer is an empathic NO!

Clearly, most of us, during this season of the year, take a step back and reflect on what Jesus did on the cross. Our eyes are fixed on His sacrifice and the complete work.

The problem is that come the day after Easter we step back into our routines and get comfortable again. We focus on what is best for us and when someone interferes with that, we get mad.

We try to be open‐minded for new ideas—or at least we say we will. However, when they are presented, we complain and argue against them. What changed? What happened? Jesus didn’t die for our preferences.

When everyone takes it upon themselves to stay focused on the cross of Christ, things change. You grow. You become more and more like Christ. You stop worrying about whether your needs are being met or whether the carpet color really matters. You stop looking at the way things conflict with what you desire. You relax. You realize that preferences don’t really matter.

What matters is the will of God. What matters is our desire to become more and more like Christ. What matters is that we grow and change into better versions of ourselves. What matters is what Paul says in just about every letter he wrote in the New Testament: “Everything I do, I do for Christ.” This concept is flowing through his letters.

There is a difference between thinking we are doing something for Christ and doing something for Christ. Most of our arguments come from the fact that we think we are doing something for Christ. We think we are protecting something that simply doesn’t matter. We think we need to because it is righteous and honorable. Let me challenge that by saying that it doesn’t matter.

Our goal for ourselves should be growth—becoming more and more like Christ. If we aren’t growing, then what’s the point? What’s the point in going to church? What’s the point in reading our Bibles or praying?

The goal is growth to become more and more like Jesus. When we grow, things don’t matter. When we grow, people around us grow. When we grow, we change our narrow focus on the “stuff” to the big things God wants to do in our lives, in the lives of those around us, and in our local and global body of believers. God wants His will to be done.

So while it is Easter time and we start to reflect again on Jesus, don’t let it stop there. Evaluate yourself: Does what I do measure up with what God wants to be done? Get to know Him more through worship, praise, petition, intercession, and whatever else you can think of. The more you lean into Jesus, the more you will grow. The more you learn from the Master the more you will grow. The more you meditate on Him the more you will grow. The more you let go and let God, the more your focus becomes not on preferences, but on His work, and what He can do through you.

By Pastor Tyler Chroniger  

Leave a Reply