A lot of people who profess to be followers of Jesus are really only admirers of Jesus. Jesus Christ didn’t call people to be admirers. He called us to be disciples…disciples who take up our symbol of death and follow Him in completely surrendered servitude. Sometimes, you may only be able to tell the difference between an admirer and a disciple when it comes time to suffer.
Nineteenth-century Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, wrote, “The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, will not reconstruct his life, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires. Not so for the follower. No, no. The follower aspires with all his strength to be what he admires.”
Author Rod Dreher puts it this way: “Admirers love being associated with Jesus, but when trouble comes, they either turn on him or in some way try to put distance between themselves and the Lord. The admirer wants the comfort and advantage that comes with being a Christian, but when times change and Jesus becomes a scandal or worse, the admirer folds…the follower recognizes the cost of discipleship and is willing to pay it.”