Each of us, at various stages of life, will be called to say “no” to certain things for the sake of Christ and the good of others, even when it seems much simpler and more satisfying in the short term to say “yes.” But to walk closely with Jesus is worth far more than any worldly comfort. Unbelieving family members won’t understand your decisions. Even some believing friends may struggle at times. But contending is the cost of discipleship.
If we love anything—our comfort, our reputations, even our families—more than we love Christ, we will fail to contend for the faith. We will fail to truly live the Christian life as Jude calls us to. We must understand that contending is divisive because Jesus is divisive, and that adds friction to a life that we desperately want to be smooth and easy. The world wants us to be quiet and play nice. Enemies of the cross want us to be content with just doing good deeds and not talking about Jesus. Traitors to the cross portray doctrinal uncertainty on the essentials as humility and confidence in Christ as anathema even to the “way of Jesus.” It can all seem rather perplexing and draining and cause much consternation. The fight takes a lot out of us, and we can easily become weary. If contending is all duty and no delight, then we will eventually throw up our hands and say, “Can’t we all just get along?”