Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Here Jesus is telling people that choosing to follow Him will result in loneliness, involuntary isolation, and likely, ridicule. Yet, it will pay off in the end. While I understand that this passage speaks of salvation, let’s look at it from a slightly different standpoint. One of the more challenging aspects of the Christian life is to follow Christ faithfully. In other words, it is not easy staying focused on the narrow path. It’s not so much the desire to follow Christ that is the struggle. No, it is more so the fact that the broad path is right next to us. We can see it, and it influences us. If we moved to a monastery and spend our entire days praying, fasting, and reading Scripture with like-minded people, it would be a simpler task to remain dedicated to the narrow path. This idea of The American Dream has been a constant thorn in the side of the church since its inception. Your neighbor bought a new truck. Your sister is having her kitchen remodeled. TV commercials are telling you that you need a new phone to stay properly connected. Honestly, those things are simply distractions to the narrow path you and I are trying to follow. We are not called to new things (Phil. 4:11-12). We are not to be using our money for comforts (1 John 3:17-18). And we are not supposed to be keeping up with the newest trends and whims of the culture (2 Tim. 1:7). So, what does a lifestyle look like that is devoted to the narrow path? 1 Kings 8:61 says to be wholly dedicated to God and His commands. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to rely on His guidance instead of the world’s. But, more specifically, Philippians 2:14-18 instructs us to be content, blameless, affective, and faithful to Christ before those who are traveling on the broad path. Consequently, we are called to influence the world more than it influences us. That is why this path is narrow and much less traveled.