People sometimes see Christianity as a set of rules but the opposite is true. There are only two laws and they are for us to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls and to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39). So, the standard of a Christian life can be summarised in one word, “love”. Which I find absolutely amazing because we know that God is love (1 John 4:8). So, everything comes back to God which is why it was so important for us to look at our relationship with God in a recent series.
The gist of the Christian lifestyle is a relationship with God first and then with others and at the core of that relationship is love. Not just in words but in actions. We love with our actions. If someone says to me that they love me and they steal from me, that’s not love. Their words are writing a cheque that their actions can’t cash, lol.
On this matter of love, I’ll just note that love sees colour. It does not ignore facts it is not in denial but it acknowledges our differences and embraces all the same. It sees colour or lack thereof and it honours and respects and recognises that in all our different shades of beautiful, we are all image bearers of God. There is no room for racism in the Kingdom of God. That was just a side note.
Moving on, I find that sometimes people struggle to fully commit to God and end up sitting on the fence. They have one foot in and one foot out unsure what to do. I can tell you now that once you dive into your relationship with Jesus you realise that the things you were holding onto so tightly and were scared to lose were either causing more damage than good or God has better in store for you. You can trust God with your future, He has you covered.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, ““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” As children of God we are free. Freedom is one of the many blessings we get to enjoy but as a part of that freedom comes responsibility. Just because something “feels” good does not make it good for you. We need to allow ourselves to grow and mature in Christ so we can begin to discern the things that are not good for us. As children we did not understand why our parents made us eat our vegetables but as adults, we realise that you cannot eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It may feel good at the time, but it will cause damage long term.
I like how our verse says, “I have the right to do anything”. That is true 100%. We have free will. God will not “make us” do anything. Everything we do in life is a choice. We are 100% free to choose. God just asks that we choose life (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).
The only way to grow and begin to discern some of the things which we have every right to do but are not beneficial and understand the spiritual repercussions of certain things, is to dive all the way in. Growth happens when we allow ourselves to be fully immersed in Christ, faults and all. As we grow, much like becoming an adult, we find that it is easier to overcome certain things and say no to the things that are bad for us and say yes to the things that are good for us. This does not happen overnight. It is a process that happens over time. You don’t have to have your life together to come to Christ.
I will leave you with this, Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Sin dresses itself up as the “fun friend” but in actuality, it wants to be your master. It will run your life and it will destroy it. So in everything we do, I pray that we begin to choose life. Life can only be found in God. So by choosing life, we are choosing God. We are choosing to follow His word. We are choosing to let Him have the final say in our lives. Christ came that we may have life more abundantly (John 10:10) not to restrict us. So we must trust that what He says or asks us to do (or not do) is for our good. He is a good Father.
Choosing life is in the small decisions. It is in saying, “Yes” to Jesus. It is in the everyday tasks. It is in loving God with all we have. It is also in loving others as we love ourselves. That is to love others with the same intensity with which we love ourselves and treating them as we would want to be treated. In everything, may we always choose life.
Love and blessings,