BY STEVE DUNN
“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.” – Galatians 5:1
Almost 25 years ago I experienced burnout – for the first time. I won’t share my whole history of working too hard, worrying too much about measuring up, ignoring my need for rest, emptying without filling. (Perhaps some other time when we know each other better.)
At that time, I spent some time with a counselor. He made this observation. “You are one of the most responsible people I know.” (That was not a compliment coming from him.) Later he added, “You need to have a self to give it away.”
So often we put ourselves under too great a burden of performance in our spiritual life. Instead of knowing the joy of salvation, we know only the anxiety of trying to be worthy of it. It doesn’t help when the church has this list of things we MUST do to be a GOOD Christian and create a “to do” list that never gets done-certainly not perfectly nor consistently.
We seek to measure up to what we can never measure up to. And we become enslaved to expectations that were never put on us by God.
The truth is that God in His infinite wisdom and unconditional love knew we could not measure up. We could not be holy and He is holy without His help. So He gave us a wonderful gift–the gift of grace. His unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor.
And the key to that gift is to simply let Him live in and through us. To give up trying to be religious and live in relationship with the Giver of Every Good and Perfect Gift.
You don’t “say”grace-you live by grace.
The result will be a person of joy and wholeness that honors and reflects that God who loves us–created us–and redeemed us as new persons.
It’s time to embrace the grace!
(C) 2013 by Stephen L Dunn