McCracken writes, “Following Christ is not one’s golden ticket to a white-picket-fence American dream. It’s an invitation to die, to pick up a cross” (McCracken, Uncomfortable, 36). Similarly, C. S. Lewis writes, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity” (C.S. Lewis, “Answers to Questions on Christianity,” God in the Dock [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970], 58.) What McCracken and Lewis are both getting at is that it’s easy to find basic happiness and comfort, but living the Christian life and being part of a church community requires making sacrifices that may feel uncomfortable but ultimately help us to become more like Jesus. It’s a trade-off that’s always worth it.
Jesus tells us what it will cost to follow him: our lives. We grow by leaving our comfort zones and entering into the challenges and discomforts of our faith. Instead of avoiding this truth, we should embrace it and press into the joy of dying to ourselves and living for God and neighbor.