So, apparently I've got a new soap box. Are you ready?
On Sunday morning in bible class, there was a prayer request asking that the Lord would help this individual be a better Christian.
For some reason it struck me as off. Like, bothered me enough that 4 days later I'm still thinking about it. And, I think I've finally figured out why.
I understood what she meant. I get that when people say "I need to be a better Christian" they mean make better choices for themselves, for the witness that they are putting out there by labeling their life Christian. It's the motivation behind it that bothers me. Just "trying to be a good Christian" takes the whole point out- Jesus. When you look at your actions through the lens of Jesus, then it changes how you think about doing things. Suddenly you aren't stuck facing everyday with a looming field of sin obstacles just waiting to trip you up. There isn't a need for Jesus and His unmovable love in that field. It's just you and your thoughts and your actions. Not cussing because you're not supposed to. Listening to the right music because it's the thing to do. No need for the relationship that saves you because you got this. Just gotta be a good Christian and I'll be alright.
Oh, how those in that mind set miss out. Because Jesus? He takes that burden off of you. When you love him, I mean LOVE Him, suddenly you get the "why" behind all the do's and don'ts of Christianity. Your relationship is much more important than the joke that you tell or places that you go. The thought of disappointing Him causes all the luster of sin to evaporate. And so does the obstacle course. Sure, your personal strongholds will still crop up and try to bring you down (and sometimes down you'll go). But instead of painting warrior stripes under your eyes and tightening your shoelaces, you'll huddle under the saving grace of Jesus until you are both on the other side. The sorrow of failing Him will weigh deeply on your soul, but His mercy will be new every morning.
How I yearn for people "just trying to be good" to know their Father. How I wish they could see the distinction between trying to save themselves through their actions and letting a love greater than they will ever know save them. And please don't think I think I've got it all figured out. Believe me.
Sometimes I'm a terrible Christian. I'm judgemental, I get stuck in pity parties, I don't read my bible like I should. But I don't ever want to be a better Christian. I want to love Jesus better. I want my relationship with Him to grow deeper so that those strongholds lessen. I want people to see his grace and mercy in me, not just the list of activities I refrain from. I want the things that I do or don't do to stem from my desire to be pleasing in His sight.
So there you go. I'll step down off my box now.
And just so you know it's still me, here's me and my adorable girl with the curls that keep growing....