Monday, August 22, 2016

No Condemnation, yet Condemned





It’s almost impossible not to live in condemnation when the world is constantly evaluating you, correcting you, and telling you how to be better. There is a sense you need to be perfect. How many people do you know who would say, “Well, I thought you were a Christian,” because they expect that once you become a Christian, you become perfect? 

That’s not actually true. Once you become a Christian, your weaknesses are made perfect in His perfection. It means, “Hey, I’m not perfect, so I need someone to complete me.” It doesn’t mean, “I’m perfect. I’m holier than thou. I’m righteous.” It means, “I need someone’s righteousness and perfection to fill up my gap. I was a zero. I need someone to make me one hundred.” I think some people view Christians like, “Oh, well, you don’t drink, smoke, or chew, so you must be holding yourself out as perfect, trying to show me how perfect you are and judging me in the process.”
I think we need to be careful not to put people into the law, and instead we need to keep them in grace, because the law makes people want to break it. But grace makes people want to celebrate and live in freedom. How can our kids not think there is such an expectation from God to be perfect if we are constantly expecting it? When they fail, every time, they keep condemnation on themselves because they think we expect them to be perfect. 

What about your boss? I know I do this: “Can you do this with more excellence? Can you do this better? Do this with excellence as if you are serving the Lord.” But where is the work coming from? Is it coming from their heart? Is it coming as if they’re serving the Lord? Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’s not exactly as you wanted, but if their heart is right, that is what should matter. But our world doesn’t do this. We live in such a different age. It’s like, “Your heart was right, but your work sucks, so you’re fired.” That isn’t reflecting the love of God.

We have all these leadership talks, and I would personally put them all and say, “Let’s start being the hands and feet of Christ.” If people are quick to obey, if they give their all, if their heart is steadfast on the Lord, and if He is their master and not man, then they are worthy of their keep. They are worth keeping. They are worth investing in. You cannot replace that easily. You can always find somebody who wants to work a bit harder because their identity is in what they do.

But how can we, as men, be condemning when the Bible says there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus? It’s so confusing.
For one week, let us challenge ourselves to offer no condemnation but only encouragement. Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage each other daily for as long as it is today so that your hearts may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Let’s encourage one another and not condemn for one week. I would love to hear what happens with your family.

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