One of the key characteristics of living by checklists as a Christian is that success is supposedly linked to how hard you try. That is why many Christians are addicted to THC, not the chemical in marijuana but another THC - Try Harder Christianity. The idea is that if you will just try hard enough to keep your checklist of right and wrong, you will finally live victoriously as a Christian. But if you are failing, you just aren’t trying hard enough. Commitment, rededication, putting yourself in a position to be blessed, following hard after Jesus, and paying the price, all carry this same Try Harder Christianity idea but never work for long.
God’s best-kept secret and only alternative to Checklist Christianity is to exchange it for another THC which is Trust Him Christianity, as found in the New Covenant. In each chapter of this book, I will unfold this truth more and more. But for now, let me share the basics of the New Covenant. Through Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, God has done for you and to you what you could not do for yourself.
· He has completely forgiven you. You can stop trying hard to get forgiveness. You already have all you will ever need.
· He has given you a new identity. You can stop trying hard to create an identity. He has already given you a great identity—the best you could ever wish for.
· He has come to live in you to love you and live through you. You can stop trying hard to make yourself live a better Christian life. He has already provided his Son, Jesus Christ, in you to do that for you.
Since all of that is true, wouldn’t it be freeing to get rid of your checklist? No more thinking.
· I must read my Bible today—check.
· I must pray today—check.
· I must give money at church today—check.
· I must serve God this week—check.
· I must avoid that habitual sin—check.
These acts are definitely important. But if doing them as a checklist is your main focus, they can produce surprising, unwanted problems, including.
· Emotional struggles, such as discouragement, anger, and depression
· Physical problems, such as fatigue and fitful sleep; conflict in relationships
· Spiritual problems, such as disillusionment, self-condemnation, and rebellion against God
God wants our behavior to be based on the overflow of a dependent, loving relationship with Jesus in us, not on trying harder and harder to perform all the tasks on our checklists.
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