It is human nature to thrive amidst our striving–and to desire things to work just that way. We work hard and then we win! Western culture has developed largely out of this mindset. Most of us live by this code; it is so natural to us that we don’t even realize it’s there.
It’s easy for the Christian church to follow suit despite its true nature being quite different. I’ve experienced the church to, at times, resemble employees in a corporate office. The result has been Christians either apologizing profusely for not having it all together or hiding what’s really going on in their lives.
The good news is that Christ frees us from the need to obnoxiously focus on our goodness, our commitment, and our correctness. Religion has made us obsessive almost beyond endurance. Jesus invited us to a dance… and we’ve turned it into a march of soldiers, always checking to see if we’re doing it right and are in step and in line with the other soldiers. We know a dance would be more fun, but we believe we must go through hell to get to heaven, so we keep marching.
Steve Brown, Keylife Ministries
a hospital on one side
We are afraid to be open and real because someone might find out what we really are. Then we get angry when our brothers and sisters in Christ fail when what they need is friends reaching out with Christ’s love. Just as everyone lives or dies with each breath of oxygen, just so is God’s love and forgiveness to our souls. This love and mercy defines every day of our life.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
for those in need of a physician
I believe the church Jesus is creating will be radically different than what we’ve seen so far in the majority of human history. Jesus’s church is much more like a hospital than a corporate social club. It is a place where people have nothing to hide. They know their brokenness, and they still belong. We are adopted children rescued from death and put in a place of honor. When the world looks at Christ’s church, humility will be the defining trait. And a special kind of fruit will form. Something that comes about from basking in God’s unconditional acceptance and love.
If there is no laughter, Jesus has gone somewhere else. If there is no joy and freedom, it is not a church. It is simply a crowd of melancholy people basking in a religious neurosis. If there is no celebration, there is no real worship.
Steve Brown, Keylife Ministries
the kingdom of Heaven on the other side
On the other side of the same coin, God desperately wants to save us from sin. After we have been eternally saved by Christ’s substitution our new life begins. He wants to bring us into His kingdom even while we are still on earth. He loves us like a father.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
1 Peter 1:3-5, The Message
We are on a path of sanctification, thank God! But it’s not the worldly path of success. It’s not the corporate ladder. It’s not about us! It’s grace and mercy and humility and it’s God’s work. It’s His masterpiece. He came to do it for us. And it’s finished.