We are moving closer to the Labor Day Retreat… and revisiting the theme, “Practice, Not Perfect.” This was the same theme that our high school group “Common Ground” explored on their musical tour.
There is no doubt that some believe that being a Christian means striving for perfection. You know, be a really, really good person. Isn’t that what God wants? Yes and no.
Sure, we should want to be decent human beings. If you only watch the news, you would question whether there are any decent people out there. Even if you don’t believe in God, I would hope one wants to be a good citizen, a good neighbor, a good co-worker and so on. I think it is safe to say, that God created us for community. In order for community to “work” we all must contribute in a positive way. So yes, God wants us to be a good person for the sake of the other.
And no. God has zero expectation that you can be a good person…on your own. God knows we are a mess and need help. Jesus came to us- not to tell us to “be good or else.” No! Jesus came to fix the problem of us not being good people. Within the church we call that “sin.”
Let’s face it, we can be pretty selfish. It is easier to think about myself than it is about other people. I am certain that I am not the only one. Yet God offers a refreshing alternative to being selfish…forgiveness. A chance to start over, a chance to go in a new direction and a chance to be self-less. When you fully grasp the fact that Jesus died a brutal death because he loves us so much… it will change you. Jesus didn’t want to leave us a selfish mess! He wanted to provide a way to move forward in life.
This forgiveness can change your entire life! God’s love for me (and you too) inspires me to live beyond myself and be the best version of myself! I want to honor God with my actions even though God knows I can’t do that on my own. I always need help. Thank God for Jesus.