Two extremes that Christians must avoid
There are two extremes in Christianity that I see around me way too often. Both are easy to fall into, and sadly enough we tend to run from one to the other and back again. There is a path that leads out of both. But first, lets look at the two extremes:
1. Apathetic Christianity. These are the ones that as soon as they hear about ”being on fire” or ”serving Jesus”, revert and become defensive. They say things such as: ”Thats not for me” or ”I have to heal first” or ”I am not in that season right now” or ”I don’t know man, I don’t want to get too excited”. This kind of apathy and indifference is rooted in selfishness. It constantly puts self before others, instead of valuing others above ourselves (Phil. 2:3).
2. Performance Christianity. Deep down on the inside performance orientated Christians feel we have to earn the favour and blessing of God. ”Nothing in life is free” has become a motto. They are always first in line to serve, but they do it grudgingly, secretly judging others who are not serving as diligently as they are. Works centered Christians are easily provoked to jealousy. If someone who hasn’t worked hard gets blessed, boy do they get worked up about it! Envy causes them to seek and find fault with the ones being blessed, or with leaders who create opportunity for people perceived as ”less deserving than me”.
The answer? The Grace of God. Honestly, when will we grow up? When will accept that our salvation is by grace alone, and that God showers favour and blessing upon us by that same grace alone? We did not deserve salvation and we wont deserve Gods favour either. They are both received by faith in Gods amazing grace!
When we trust grace, we are released from performance Christianity. Trusting Gods grace will cause us to celebrate the success of those younger in faith. We will begin to hope and pray that those who recently became Christians far exceed any height we may have reached. When others go beyond where I have been, I am not filled with envy, but with deep joy. Grace kills self centered performance Christianity.
Grace also kills lazy Christianity. God is inviting us into a deeper revelation of Jesus and everything that he made available for us. It has all been paid for in advance, the way to salvation and blessing is wide open for us. When we realize this our hearts are changed. We want to spread this good news to others! We want to see others touched by the same amazing grace that touched us! We cannot wait for the next opportunity to serve, not because we think it will earn us more favour, but because we love Jesus so much!
Allow Gods grace to touch you deeply.
Allow it to set you free from the heavy weight of performance Christianity.
Allow it to fuel a passion in you so deep that it gets rid of all apathy and indifference.
Trust Gods amazing Grace!
Pastor Pekka Perho