The most common trap we fall into as Christians is the comparison trap we set up for ourselves. Have you ever found yourself living life and being the best Christian you can be, trying to be perfect, and still falling short?
That has got to be one of the worst feelings known to man.
Sometimes, more heartbreaking than an actual heart break — that feeling you get when you are crying out to Jesus and you are asking Him: “why is it that no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I push, it seems like I can never measure up to Jesus?”
We will never reach that level. We will never get past this sin. At times like that, frankly I just want to give up. What’s the point in trying and what’s the point in doing all of this if I will never measure up to Jesus? I’ve prayed that prayer so many times and yet I find myself falling back into that comparison trap over and over again, every week.
I recently picked up a book called “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldridge.
(Side Note: If you are looking for a good book to read, I recommend picking this up because it is truly beautiful — pardon the pun.)
Back to my point… the book basically talks about removing religion from relationship. And if you have been in a church for more than a second, I’m sure you have heard a sermon like this. It’s not about coming to church, but about having a relationship with Jesus. All of that is true and I’m certainly not neglecting those sermons, but sometimes in the midst of those sermons, I tend to think that a relationship with Jesus indeed involves a lot of religion.
I mean, how else will I make Jesus happy if I’m not in church every Sunday?
How else will Jesus bless me if I’m not paying my tithes and offering?
How else will God use me if I’m not doing what the pastor said?
Realize none of things are bad alone, but also none of those things are substitutes for a relationship with God.
As I was reading “Beautiful Outlaw” through, John Eldridge wrote something that really got me:
We were never meant to be Jesus.
Jesus was meant to be Jesus but we weren’t. We are to try and live our lives as Jesus did, but when we realize we are not meant to be savior, but to point to the only savior, our lives becomes a bit easier . . . His yoke becomes easy and His burden light. We are meant to allow Jesus to incarnate through us, but not to be the new incarnation of Jesus. Letting Jesus work through us is different from trying to be the new Jesus.
When you allow Jesus to be Himself and work through you, then you can truly understand the way God works and you will be able to hear from God easier. If you are doing religion, then you won’t know if what you hear is God or opinion. If you do relationship with Jesus, then you don’t have to measure up to Jesus: you get to have Him live through you.