Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Duty Dump

Many things have been on my mind lately.  I tend to be a very black and white person and when you begin to live in grace it starts to add a lot of grey to the picture, which gives the picture dimension but requires people like me to go out and buy new paint.  One thing I have become quite sure of, however is the topic of the day today, Christian duty. 

I grew up in church hearing all the time what was and wasn’t my “Christian Duty.”  I never really like that phrase mainly because duty sounded like poop and that usually was what you felt like if you didn’t complete those certain tasks.  What is this Christian duty anyway? 

Well here are a few things that I associate with that phrase, though I am sure there are many more that could be added.  Read your bible, Pray, daily quiet times, visitation/evangelism, church service (cleaning, serving in the nursery, ect.), tithing, attending church any time the doors are open, and of course my personal favorite doing what Jesus would do or WWJD for all those 1990’s Christians out there.  Now, these things seem like really great things and I know most of you out there are saying “well, we should do those things right?” and you’re right those are great things and sure we should do them but we should not become enslaved to them. 

Christ died to free us not only from sin but from the power of the law! Don’t believe me? Go read the entire book of Hebrews or Romans or how about some 2 Corinthians.  It’s funny to me that we choose to put ourselves in bondage to things that in the long run I really don’t think matter to God. 

I don’t think he sits up there and looks down on us saying, “Oh look at Jess! She did her quite time this morning! Oh I am SOOOOOO proud of her, let’s have a party angels!” or even “Oooo Jess didn’t come clean the church this Sunday, well I will have to remember that next time she wants something from me. Tsk tsk!”  Do we really think he relates to us that way?!  Or is it more of feeling like we have to do those things to please our fellow Christians? Uh oh, it just got real all of a sudden. 

Do we teach Sunday School so the pastor’s wife won’t think less of us or do we pray long drawn out prayers so that everyone knows how close we are to God.  THAT IS SILLY!  God is 100% completely pleased with you! Christ has made us ONE with him.  That means in order for God to be displeased with us he would have to be displeased with his own Son.  He would have to say, “Now Jesus, Jess isn’t doing her quiet times so you’re going to have to get crucified again and do try a little harder this time, won’t you?” 

No. It is FINISHED.  We are completely at peace with God.  He has poured out ALL his grace and love on us and the only “duty” we have is just to turn and receive what has already been given to us.  When you do take that in, when you take in that incredible life changing grace and love, then you have a desire to do things.  Not out of obligation but out of gratitude. 

I am at church every time the doors are open, I do tithe, I pray daily, and I read my Bible more now than I ever have!  Because I WANT to not because I HAVE to.  Not because I want other Christians to see me as some spiritual guru that has everything together (because I definitely DO NOT).  I don’t really care what they think of my spiritual standing because I live in confidence knowing that I am COMPLETELY accepted by my God.  They may relate to me that way but I will not relate to them that way. 

So, if you feel like your duty is getting in the way of your desire, turn back and take in all that love, grace, acceptance, and pleasure that God is pouring on you.  Don’t let duty be what you see coming from God because if you think duty is coming in duty will come out and you will fast lose the realness and love among your fellow believers.  Don’t let yourselves become enslaved; dump the duty and let desire be your drive.

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