And some of the seed fell among thorn-bushes and the thorns grew up and choked the life out of it, and it bore no crop. (JBP)
Some people respond to the Christian message as dabblers. They engage with it to a degree, get involved in the church and Christian activities to a degree, but lots of other competition exists. There is no overriding allegiance to Jesus. Jesus is just one among many interests in life: he is not the all embracing Lord who gives meaning to all of life. Christian ministry is something undertaken if other things don’t intervene. It is fitted in where convenient.
Such is choked Christian faith. It never satisfies. It is neither wholeheartedly committed to the delight of surrender to Jesus or blissfully ignorant of his claims on our life. So such people are caught in limbo land: torn between competing allegiances. Tasting enough of Christianity to stimulate their need of Jesus. But not tasting enough so as to have him satisfy that need.
Here we come to grips with the radical nature of Christian commitment. It is not just one segment of life: it is all of life. Not to say we become spiritually obsessed or spend all our time at church: this does no one any good, especially the world outside the church which needs our presence.
Rather it means that all aspects of life are given meaning by our overarching faith. My job, my home, my studies, my family, my friendships are not competitors to my faith: they thrive under the umbrella of that faith and in the context of that faith. That way, my faith doesn’t get choked out by other things: it gives meaning to other things