When I was ten, we moved to the States from a country where practicing religion was always costly. Mostly, the cost was self-imposed, as many thought they could earn God’s favor. For a few, the cost was appropriate, and unavoidable, as they could not be comfortable with surrounding culture. IN CONTRAST, what I saw here in the States was that practicing religion seemed to cost nothing. That concerned me then, and it concerns me still.
Someone may respond, “I’m not comfortable with surrounding culture! So, wouldn’t you agree that I am paying a price to be a Christian!” My answer: maybe, maybe not. The thing about culture is that it is never merely “surrounding.” Rather, it works its way into much — if not all — of what we think and do. We’re part of it. It’s part of us.
Simply being upset at others’ immorality is not enough. Jesus’ prescription is not “Get mad at the world.” His prescription is, “You! You. If necessary, cut off your own arm. Gouge out your own eye. Renounce everything that YOU have.”
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:33