A Christian blogger wrote…
When I do something I know is wrong, I’ll justify it by planning on doing something which is exceptionally moral. Or sometimes, I’ll put a twist on this. I’ll do something wrong, and then I’ll use this to get some good result… I cheat on my taxes, perhaps, but donate the money to a good charity. We keep these mental score cards. We think, at the end of the day, if we’ve shown a profit of goodness that we are a good person. Somewhere deep down, we even maybe believe that this balance sheet will either get us into heaven or keep us out of heaven.
People think this way because they also think that they can get enough of Jesus, whether or not they admit it. When you know that you can’t get enough of Jesus, your pursuit of Him in every moment, pursuit in the sense of following not seeking (as many people mean), causes the weighing and counting mentality to evaporate,
“gone like snow on the water.”
When parents are raising a family, they somehow think they have to ease their kids into Christianity, make it pleasant for them, so they are not discouraged and give up. Church leaders do the same with their congregations. Orthodox bishops will give the people permission to sit down during long services when we would normally be standing. That’s dadliness for you, but it sends the wrong message.
Following Christ is not really as hard as people make it out to be. Developing personal discipline does not have to be a “ladder to heaven” mentality. The fact we exist at all is ample proof of the love of God, who doesn’t create us just to destroy us if we aren’t perfect. Our living lives of personal self-discipline is just doing what we have to do to fit into God’s family, because we are part of it by His grace. He adopted us orphans and we don’t want to disappoint Him.
We don’t want to embarass Him in front of His enemies.
Our kids should see us living our lives this way, and it should make them want to “grow up to be like Mom and Dad” rather than their opposite. So don’t cheat them out of their inheritance by offering them cheap grace.
Jesus says, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
But what does He mean by “perfect”?
The sun shines on bad men as well as good, and the rains come down on the fields of the wicked as well as those of the righteous.
The perfection Jesus exhorts us to is not moral perfection as a human achievement, but the kind of incorruptible life that is so confident in the providence of God that it takes no notice of external conditions, but lives in a state of unshakable certainty. Why? Because we are the recipients of “an unshakable kingdom.”