I know what you’re thinking. “It’s OCTOBER, and you are writing about Christmas?” I understand; I’m skipping Halloween, disrespecting Thanksgiving, etc. I’ve already been reprimanded by my boyfriend for playing Christmas music this holiday season. Even in light of all this I will still write this post shamelessly, because I believe Christmas is just as important year-round as it is between November 27 and December 25. Recently, God has used the Christmas story to teach me something that will change my perspective for the rest of my life, and it’s something that I believe every person who claims Jesus as their savior needs to hear.
If you’re anything like me, the thought of going to class and/or work, doing an assignment for school, volunteering for this or that, and doing all the other things you said “yes” to makes you want to hide under the covers and never come out; but I say “yes” anyway. I am always piling more and more onto my plate, even though I have learned that I shouldn’t. Why do I do this, when I know I won’t have the motivation to follow through with it later? I have learned that this is the result of believing a lie.
Before you jump to conclusions, I am not saying that it is okay to be flakey and irresponsible. What I am saying is that the enemy is constantly reminding us that who we are and what we are doing is not enough. This is intensified by the fact that we know it’s true. We don’t need help from Satan to feel guilt over our inadequacy. This is where the lie begins to eat away at our very souls. When we start believing that we have to feel guilty, that we need to do more and be more than we are capable of doing and being, and that we have to do that on our own, we lose motivation, we fall apart, and we lose our joy.
I hope that what I am about to write will bring you freedom: God cares more about you than he cares about the things you are doing (or not doing) for him.
God wants a genuine relationship with you so much more than he wants you to join the church choir, more than he wants you to graduate from college, more than he wants you to be a good mom/dad or husband/wife. More than anything, God wants you to know him in a way that frees you from the guilt of not being enough. He already knows what you are capable of, and what you aren’t. He created you in love, and he desires so deeply to help you find freedom in that love. The fact that his children so often find being a Christian so exhausting breaks his heart, because it shows how truly unaware we are of the gift we have in Jesus.
This is where the Christmas story comes in.
Luke 2:10 – “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'”
That great joy is Jesus, and the freedom he brought with him. He willingly chose to give up his position in heaven, and come to earth in human form, knowing that he would endure the most painful and cruel death to have ever been invented, all so that he could provide us with a way to have a better life.
So the next time you are asked to do something extra, I give you permission to say no. I give you permission to let yourself fail. I give you permission to live in a way that clearly demonstrates that you know and serve a God who is ready to forgive you for your humanity at any moment. I give you permission to live as though your life doesn’t depend on you.
Think about this. Meditate on it. “God cares about me more than he cares about what I am doing for him.” Let this simple thought bring you the incredible freedom that followers of Christ were always meant to have.