Read: Matthew 7:13-14
Enter by the narrow gate. (v. 13)
If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? Some say, “No.” Others say, “It depends.” Unless you encounter extreme circumstances, you probably would not jump off. But all of us have probably agreed to be a part of something without knowing all the details or without weighing the consequences. We didn’t want to be unpopular or stand out like a sore thumb. So we did what everyone else was doing. In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini calls this follow-the-crowd phenomenon “social proof.” This consensus-seeking principle involves looking to others first before deciding what to do.
When it comes to where we will spend eternity, we may want to think twice about following the crowd. Jesus explains that the crowd is headed to a wide gate, and the road to that gate is easy. It’s smooth and free of debris, so it’s no wonder it’s a popular road. The road to the narrow gate is rough and rocky with only a few traveling on it. When the roads end and both gates swing open, the crowd will be in a place of destruction and the few will find life.
Authentic biblical Christianity is not always popular. To the crowd, it’s a religion of restrictions. To Christians, it’s a faith built on a relationship with Jesus. And those of us who follow him will not be popular with the crowd. —Ericka Loynes
Prayer: Lord, please remind us that the rough road to the narrow gate leads to an abundant life with you.