Be Christ-centered, Not Religion-centered By Babatunde Olugboji
Christocentric, or a Christ-centered life is one that is focused upon a total commitment to Christ as Lord. For every human decision there is a motivation.
Some individuals are motivated by the pursuit of pleasure, others, money. Some center their entire lives on a specific goal, which could be a career, or even family. Such pursuits are not wrong in themselves; however, things we center our lives on can become our god.
The human heart was designed for worship, and if it does not worship God, it will worship something else. If we are not Christ-centered, we will be centered on something else. Worship, at the end of the day, is measured by the amount of time, money, and emotional energy expended on something.
Our gods can be identified by the level of passionate commitment they evoke in us, and, after a while, we begin to resemble them. We talk about them, think about them, dream about them, and scheme to spend more time with them. People who know us best usually know where our deepest passions lie because worship is hard to hide.
Believers who center their lives on Christ would gradually become more like him: talking like Him, thinking like Him, acting like Him; dreaming about Him and spending more and more time with Him. Obeying Him wouldn’t be a struggle, they will love and honor Him and seek to please Him. Their lives would echo Paul’s words in Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death.” The chief aim of a Christ-centered life is to glorify God.
But let’s not confuse a Christ-centered with a religion-centered. The Pharisees were religion centered. They knew the law inside out. They could spot rules, codes, and judgments, but Jesus had harsh rebuke for them. They were law-centered but not love-centered, and it made all the difference (see Matthew 23:25; Luke 11:42) A religion-centered life strives for ascendency, attention, and glory based upon performance. It keeps score and judges itself and others by self-made standards. Christ-centered lives rest in the finished work of Jesus on their behalf and yearn for holiness as a means of staying close to Christ.
The secret to living a Christ-centered life is understanding the “fear of the Lord” (Psalm 19:9; Proverbs 16:6).
Those who live Christ-centered lives develop a tangible awareness of the presence of Christ (Matthew 28:20). They make decisions based on the whether such decision would please the Lord. They avoid Satan’s traps and worldly entanglements because they evaluate their choices: “If Jesus was spending the day with me, would I do that? Watch that? Say that?” (1 Timothy 3:7; Ephesians 6:11).
Every lifestyle decision is weighed on heaven’s scales and evaluated for its eternal significance. Lesser loves fall by the wayside because they steal time, resources, and energy away from the real passion of life—pleasing Jesus.
However, living with the fear of the Lord requires a conscious, ongoing commitment to it, and even the most devoted will fail at times.
Living a Christ-centered life doesn’t mean perfection. No person has ever lived a perfect life except Jesus (Hebrew 4:15). Even those who desire a Christ-centered life will stumble, fall, sin, and make fleshly decisions in moments of weakness (1 John 1:8–10). But a Christ-centered person cannot endure living in disharmony with God and will quickly confess sin and be restored to fellowship with him.
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