Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Life Well Lived

The trap we fall into is thinking that we have all the answers. We think that if we just say the right thing it will be a magic pill to help that person up when all it does is burden them more and push them further down. After we express what we are sure the cure is to another's ailments, we walk away feeling elevated and superior because we know better and are more spiritually enlightened and closer to God than the person who is slowly drowning in their despair.

Grace is defined as a person not being able to do anything to make God love them any more and also not being able to commit any act that will make God love them any less. Christians shy away from talking about grace because they are sure that it will incite everyone to sin more and more and more and will degrade a relationship with Christ.

What was the act of Christ on the cross if not the biggest display of grace? Grace is not an excuse to run rampant in self destruction. However, in freedom people can make bad choices. It is like being set free from jail and having the opportunity to do whatever you want so you go back in the jail cell, pull the door shut, lock it and throw away the key because you were free to do so and now you showed everyone that you could. That is a poor choice, but sure it is still your choice.

You can enslave yourself to anything under grace and get away with it. But to be abundantly free in life, the best choice is enslavement to love. When we love freely and give freely until we become less and less in our own eyes, it is then that we no longer have fear. We give every ounce of who we are and ask nothing in return and the fear of life and self-preservation fades quickly. No fear of failure, no fear of people, no fear of embarrassment, no fear of making the wrong choices or doing the wrong thing. No fear that we won't receive love back. No fear that people will hurt us. (They will.) No fear that people will make bad choices. (They will.) We are free from having to make enough money to keep up with the lifestyle we think we need or want. We are free from the constant pressure that we usually live under when we enslave ourselves to love. When we count our lives as lost in order to truly love God and people where they are at, in whatever feeble manner we can, life is spectacular!

There is only one true love. There is only one standard of love. There are perversions of love. Those "loves" control and manipulates people. That love says there is no grace because fear wants to control the other person and be responsible for their life. Love trusts. Love believes. Love has the side effect of joy. Love never runs dry. Love never gives up on someone or writes them off. Love has an overflowing abundance of a life that is well lived. It has no marks of jealousy, anger, lying, concealing, deceiving, manipulating, controlling, withholding, arguing, flying off the handle, beating someone into submission or pulling rank.

So if darkness has seeped into your veins and depression is controlling your life, you are going to have to ask yourself this: "What did I do with my freedom?" What did you enslave yourself to? What did you give your heart and life to? We give pieces away throughout our life until we are left with nothing. We can't go back and collect all of the pieces. We are left sucked dry with no options. We hit bottom. We are pushed down.

And someone comes along to tell us why we are a mess and what they can do to fix us.


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