Sometimes we have it all wrong as Christians.
We think that if we do this “one” more thing, that we will earn points to enter into heaven.
Let me put your aching heart at ease – Jesus was, is, and will always be ENOUGH.
We think that if “only” we do this, then we will be loved more by our heavenly Father. We think that if we pray one more time or read one more chapter, well, more points gained. But that is when we make our salvation about us.
When I came home from the hospital, there were an incredible amount of emotions that I brought home. One of them being, the fear that I did not do enough in the hospital. Did I represent Christ well? Did I speak of His name enough? Did I tell His story correctly? Did I miss any opportunities?
Then I started to wonder, how can I do ministry while healing? How can I DO MORE?
I felt empty and in need of a whole lotta grace. I remember telling this to my pastor and as he reminded me, I can do nothing more or nothing less to make God love me more or less. I can’t tell you how FREEING that thought and truth was. I was enough. He was enough.
Yes, it’s true that they will know we are Christians by our love and our fruit. But the legalism, rules, and stipulations we put on others and ourselves, ruins the faith story that God has set out for us. He has given us freedom, but we choose to bind ourselves. He has done enough, yet we tell ourselves we need to do more. We’ve got it all backwards.
How often do we create a faith to-do list? If I go to church twice on Sunday, if I don’t walk more that “x” steps on Sunday, if I read 2 chapters of the Bible instead of one, if I pray for 5 more minutes, if I don’t do this and don’t do that, then I will gain credits and a better standing with God. The thing is, without the cross, without what CHRIST did, we would be stuck trying to do all these things. But instead, He took all of those to-dos and said let me get this. Let me cover these things for you. Let me throw them out the window. I’M ENOUGH.
Going to church, reading the Bible, praying, and “doing” are done as a response of gratitude, but also a desire to know our Maker more. They are important in the sense that we want to give glory where glory is due. They won’t get us to heaven, but are a response to what Christ has done.
I remember lying in my hospital bed, staring at my Bible, thinking that if anytime was a good to read the Bible, that it would be in a hospital bed. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had no energy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But the thing was, God knew that. God knew I just needed Him. He was enough.
What stipulations, rules, to-dos, lists, do you place on yourself and/or others when it comes to faith and Christianity? One thing that sets Christianity apart from other religions is that it isn’t about works first. It’s about Christ first. Yes, faith without deeds is dead (James 2). But the FAITH comes first. Let our deeds be an overflow of the heart. Let our faith be something we can’t WAIT to express, instead of loving and doing out of obligation. Let Christ be our example and Christ be our hope. Not our to-do lists.