Monday, July 28

There Is NO Checklist!

There is no checklist!

At some point, unspoken expectations became a part of our Christian lives, a part of our churches, and a part of how we function. The odd thing is, I don't ever recall someone speaking from the pulpit about them or a person standing at the back of the church handing out flyers listing them. I've been racking my brain to find out why it is that so many us feel we have to live up to these rules that we believe exist. The conclusion I've come to is that we don't understand the true meaning of grace.
Grace hasn't been fully discussed, preached and defined to us. This all came about in a recent discussion with a close friend. She felt like being a stay at home mom wasn't enough, she wasn't doing anything big enough to be counted for God's kingdom, what she was doing was worthless.
I DON'T THINK SO! God gave me the words to speak to her, and I felt the need to share them with any of you that struggle with similar things. When you get to the gates of heaven at the end of your life there isn't a big white board with a checklist on it or ticker tape listing how many people you "won" for Jesus. He won't be looking at you going, "Welp, if you'd only saved five more people I'd let you in," or "If you'd missed less church in your life I wouldn't have to turn you away." Thats not how God works. The Bible says God is love, which means to me that His arms are constantly open to me. He always has and always will desire a relationship with me, and the only thing that truly matters is that I have faith in Him and have a relationship with him.

What stay at home parents do MATTERS! It counts. It's one of the hardest jobs on the planet. My mom was a stay at home mom for 13 years. I don't believe when she got to heaven God looked at her and said well raising two kids and teaching them about Me wasn't enough, you should of been doing more and adding more to My kingdom. I think He gave her a hug and said "great job, I love you and I'm glad you're here." What Jesus did for us covered any mistakes she made, any sins she had. When judgment happened - when God recounted her life - Jesus was holding her hand looking at their Father and saying, "Dad (a.k.a. GOD) I covered that for her, she is redeemed, she is saved, she is washed clean by what I did."

My husband is a stay at home dad - and a great one! What he does everyday counts. He's raising our son to be a Godly man. That counts! We have cast aside modern day gender roles, especially in Christian circles, and done things differently. We both have our own moments of not feeling like we're doing enough for God. The thing is: that's all in our head. We've made up a definition of "doing enough" somewhere along the way that is far from what the Grace of God is. God loves you and continually extends His grace to us all. That is all that matters!

Stop allowing the unwritten rules to exist in churches and christian circles, because they don't exist with God! To God every sin is the same, He doesn't categorize them like we do. Because every sin is the same, He sent Jesus to cover those sins. Judgement - even of ourselves - shouldn't be the loudest voice in our lives. The only voice that matters, the only one that truly matters, is God's. The loudest message that God wants us to hear is how much He loves us and wants a relationship with us. Think about it, He sent His only son so He could have relationship with us. He loved us so much He sent His son. As a parent that hits home. I know how deep my love for James goes and I know I don't have the strength to do what God did just so I could be in relationship with other people. Judgement in the end isn't the answer, Love is. You can disagree with someone, and yet still have the love you have for them be the loudest thing they hear.

Is Love louder than your judgement in your life? If not, it should be!

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