Throwback Thursday: Free

22nd August, 2022

It’s not supposed to be difficult.
Life, love, faith.
None of it is supposed to be difficult.
The songs tell us that “love hurts” , that it’s sometimes hard, that we must work at it.
I disagree. In fact, it was the big lesson I learned in my first relationship after my abusive husband; that loving someone can be easy, can feel natural, should be joyful, gentle, and not require effort. If you have to really try to love someone then perhaps, they’re not that loveable to you, perhaps they’re not the right person for you.

Loving your enemy, I concede, is difficult, but not your spouse, partner, or friend. That should be easy. And as we grow in Christ even loving our enemy becomes easier.

Which brings me onto faith.
Jesus said

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”

I recently read an article telling us to “strive for holiness”
No, hang on, that’s not the Gospel. That’s religion.
Religion provides a set of rules, a benchmark for us to strive for, to work towards, to be acceptable to God. That’s what the “law” was for in the Old Testament: ‘Follow these 613 rules perfectly and you will be holy- acceptable and pleasing to God.’

Jesus sets us free from that. Paul tells us countless times that we are justified through the faithfulness of Christ, not through our own striving “Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:28, Romans 5: 15-17 to name but a few) Holiness is a gift, it is given to us by the grace of God, not by anything we do. We are free.

Free from striving, from trying to please, from worrying about heaven and hell and our eternal destination, from worrying about whether we are good enough, loved enough, holy enough.

Free, set free by the Son, so free indeed. (John 8:36)

It’s not supposed to be difficult. All that striving, trying, worrying, arguing about how to apply laws is a distraction from our freedom, it’s a prison. It’s why Paul refers to those doing this as “slaves” ; it is not what God wants for us.

Jesus dealt with all that “sin” that difficult ‘not good enough-ness’ so we could be fully children of God. As a mother I want my children to be comfortable and relaxed in my presence, I don’t want them running around trying to constantly please me, I don’t want them fearful of me, I don’t want them wondering if they’re good enough to be loved by me. I want them to be fully themselves, to relax into my company and enjoy spending time with me, and then to go out into the world confident in who they are, to grow into who they are going to be, to spread their wings, not clip them in some effort to ‘fit in’ or ‘be good.’ They will mess up, they will get things wrong. I want them to; I want them to have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from that, to make choices, good choices. I want them to grow into their fullest potential. I want them to fly.

That’s what God wants for you.

Spread your wings.