Have you ever had a fever so bad even the coldest levels A/C can’t seem to taper? That was me, on this particular morning.
In the car, I was burning a hole through the seat. I was SO hot. Burning hot.
My husband turned the air. I turned it back on. He turned it off. I turned it on. I couldn’t cool.
We speeding down the highway. Why? Because we were headed to church. Have I told you all before, I don’t like to miss church? Come Sunday, I’ll be there. Come thinking of worshipping God, I can’t miss it. Come time to check the kids in, so I can have “my time” with my King, ain’t no one messing with that!
“Should we really go?” My husband said as we headed down the highway.
“Of course we should,” I answered.
But, should we? I don’t want to get anyone else sick. And, the kids are sniffling in the back.
When religious stuff turns into duty, more than a blessing, there’s wisdom in questioning it.
Jesus didn’t die so we ‘have to’ prove our self to Him. He already proved everything on the cross. With this, we are wise to question our motives.
If keeping your quiet time with Jesus is stressful because “you have to do it” or because “you haven’t done it in weeks” — you are wise to question it. If you are bringing dinner over to that woman’s house because you know everyone else is doing it and because you feel it is the “good-Christian thing to do” — you are wise to question it. If you are saying yes to everyone because you feel bad if you say no — you are wise to question it.
God doesn’t desire manufactured, look-good-on-the-surface religion as much as he desires our heart.
“So practice and obey whatever they (religious leaders) tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.
“Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. (Mt. 23:3-5)
Where do you feel obligated to ‘put on a show’ for God or man?
If you can’t do it with an authentic heart for Jesus, don’t bother doing it (I say this directly to my heart right now too). And, if you feel you ‘have to’ do it a certain way, try it a new way today. Rather than demanding you spend an hour with Jesus, just meet Him in the little places (as you drive, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.). If you normally take pride in bringing that woman dinner, because everyone else is — just give her a ring to talk. Do it differently. Shake things up. Go the opposite way of obligation, duty, and appearances.
I told my husband to re-route our course. Instead of going to church, we spent time together as a family and talked about Jesus. I actually felt we had some tremendously important conversations for our family. It wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t change our pattern a bit if we weren’t flexible.