It’s That Simple

“So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20b

This is so simple! For so long, I have stolen my own joy by over-complicating the Christian life. I always say, “It’s not religion. It’s a relationship.” And yet, I often act as if it WERE religion – rules to follow; don’t do this, do that, do this a certain way, follow it all to the letter! My motivation has been more performance-based than love-based.

I know exactly where this comes from and yet, changing it has been extremely challenging. I always felt that my earthly father’s love was performance based and that I could never do anything well enough for him. He criticized and corrected constantly. I rarely heard praise from him, if at all (I’m sure I did at some time. He wasn’t a total monster). The criticism is what stayed with me though and I have transferred that feeling to God. I more often feel like He’s disappointed in me and less often feel loved by Him. That’s on me. I know differently in my head, and a little in my heart, just not enough in my heart, I don’t think.

This feeling that God is disappointed in me is like a little black cloud over my head. I would really like to get rid of it. I want to know that God loves me with every ounce of my being. I want to feel His love and the joy that goes with that. At least most of the time. I don’t expect that, as a human, I can maintain joy 24/7. That’s just not realistic, I don’t think.

The verse above really spoke to me this morning. I felt God telling me that it really is that simple and to stop over-complicating things. Stop with the legalism. “For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” -Galatians 2:21. Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me. I need to keep reminding myself of that. He didn’t wait to see if I would perform adequately before He loved me and sacrificed for me. He didn’t even wait for me to be born! He already knew me and He already loved me.

I am such an emotional person. I do a lot of things intuitively, but at the same time, I sometimes over-analyze and stress about doing things “right”. It’s like the natural me and the conditioned me are at odds. I was conditioned by my dad’s criticism to over-analyze things and make sure I was doing it right, but I think God created me as more of a right-brained person. My point is, things stick with me more when I feel them – like Gods’ love. I have felt it, immensely at times, and I still do. Just not as often as I once did and maybe that’s contributing to the doubt?

Now I’m wondering if it’s because I am disappointed in me? I’m not doing things with my life that I would like to do, or that I thought I would be doing by now. Granted, I have a pretty good reason, but me being me, I don’t like to let “reasons” get in the way. Maybe I need to follow His example and give myself a little grace. Maybe if I look at what I love about myself and my life, I will be able to see His love in the blessings He’s given me. And maybe, if I think about that more than the ways I’ve failed myself, my attitude will begin to change and there will be more “renewing of my mind”? Because the Lord knows I need a new mind! (C.D. joke). 😆

Neurological disorders aside, my attitude does need some renewing. I pray that the Lord will keep me reminded of His love for me and increase my level of joy, for the joy of the Lord is my strength! Amen!


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