I just got another email from Twitter, LinkedIn, and suggestions from Facebook to follow some “thought leader”, a friend on Twitter, a page, a brand. And it struck me that we receive so many requests these days to follow someone– and without too much thought because they seem familiar, we will “follow” them to where ever they want to take us. And with a click of a button, we are following a rabbit hole via a random thought on twitter, a new experience from a service provider, music from a new artist, or a provocative article or blog post on a subject we maybe interested in.
It gets even more interesting still, that information gatherers like Google, and social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are gathering data and making assumptions about YOU based on who you “follow” and what you may have clicked on no matter how random it is. Based on many of our half-hearted commitments to follow, this information is sold to others to then draw you to “follow” them. This is superficial.
But really following someone, some thing, some message takes a lot more commitment than pushing a button. Really following someone is getting out of your seat, leaving your familiar places to pursue where the other person is going. It takes time. It takes action. It takes resources. It can be risky. It requires faith. Sometimes you don’t even know where the other person is going, but really following has faith that where ever that destination is, is where YOU need to be.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Well, Jesus was one of the first to say “Follow me”. He called/beckoned His disciples using those words and they immediately left all to follow Him. There doesn’t appear to be too much discussion, but somehow when He spoke, the words ignited a passion to leave all, risk all to have it all. Real following requires real discipleship.
Mark 10:28-30 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Trust Peter to always speak up. In Matthew, he adds a question to his declaration of having left all to follow Christ. He says “what do we get?” But look at Jesus’ heart — He is always seeking to give us exponentially more than whatever we give up to follow Him in this life. But even more telling is that the disciplines did not ask Him this when they first left all to follow Him. In those first words Jesus spoke to them, “Follow Me”, they had already found everything worth living for.