Something that every one of us has to wrestle with is this: Is Jesus more interested in strict justice or love? Sometimes these two go hand in hand. It is often kind and good to hold to a standard of behavior. But, there are many times when it is not possible:
Many of us think that we can earn God’s love by way of justice, or “right” behavior. But there are a few issues with this mind set.
Figuring out what a person wants and going and doing it is not a basis for a loving relationship, it is an attempt to appease.
Only focusing on behavior doesn’t confront the deeper issue of motivation (doing the right things for the wrong reasons).
This mindset assumes an entirely inflated opinion of our ability to be perfect, which perpetuates pride.
When we are confronted with the reality that we are imperfect and can never measure up, it is interpreted as “I am worthless and unworthy of love” which leads to a cycle of shame instead of grace
This mindset assumes that God’s personality is one that is strict and withholds Himself (or not) based on our performance, which is unbiblical.
Does Jesus spend more time with those who perform well (Pharisees) or with those that have a dismal record at best (sinners, prostitutes, disciples, etc.)?
In a system in which we have to earn love, grace is impotent. Grace, by definition, is love that cannot be earned but is given and received freely.
What would look like to, instead of striving with a white-knuckled grip for perfection, to be okay with where you are it in your imperfection, where God meets you?
What if the Christian disciplines were not a punishment or an obligation but an outflow of a relationship that existed before these behaviors did?
Why not spend your energy learning how to vulnerably receive the free gift of God’s love than trying to earn it?
Luke 15 (Message)
25-27 “All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’
28-30 “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’
31-32 “His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”
True Pursuit’s mission is to bring hearts rescued and freedom to men through developing resources, events and training programs that invite men to have an active relationship with God and walk in freedom.