I need to be more careful about what I write. I sometimes forget that this is public, and begin to ramble. So when I was swamped with comments on one of my last ones, I was rather overwhelmed. To avoid that happening again, I’m going to stick to something more basic.
I don’t exactly like taking tests. The thing about tests is that grading is always crazy. See, the problem is that the grading system expects you to get a majority of the problems right or else you won’t get a good grade. If you only do about half, you’ll still get an F.
What I don’t understand is how people have gotten used to the way of grading tests, but not with grading our lives. What? Yes. As Christians, we are called to do what’s right…not to earn salvation somehow, but to obey God out of love and gratefulness for all that he’s done. That’s what we are called to do. Works do not earn Salvation: all the same, the law is important. So why do we think we can only do half of it?
Think about it: if a few kids were told to clean up a room and the parent leaves…will they do it? Maybe, but I doubt it. If they do, they’ll do the ‘bare minimum’ of it and leave the rest undone. Sure, you might say, but they’re just kids.
We do much better….right?
Well, don’t we?
Unfortunately, no. The shirking is a big problem for us. While we all might understand the “Love your enemies” we don’t plan on inviting them over for dinner. We don’t “murder” in our hearts, but we also don’t love them, and we don’t “steal” but we also don’t work to protect their property. Legalism all.
Before I get on a soapbox and start preaching, let’s think for a moment. Each commandment has both a positive and a negative. So “Do not Lie” as a negative has “Do speak the truth” as a positive. Here are the ten commandments and their negations.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall worship me as your only God
You shall not make any false image for worship.
You shall worship me the way I have perscribed
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
You shall keep my name respected and Holy
You shall remember the Sabbath day and make it Holy.
You shall not forget or disrespect my Holy Day
You shall honor your Father and your Mother.
You shall not despise and disobey your parents
You shall not Murder.
You shall preserve life
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall keep and cherish what is given to you
You shall not steal.
You shall protect the belonging of others
You shall not lie.
You shall tell the truth
You shall not covet.
You shall be content with what you have
How could we possibly keep that list? Easy. We can’t.
It’s impossible for us do all that. We break His law by Omission and by Comission (leaving stuff out or doing what’s wrong) and we have no possible way of keeping it. But we are justified by Grace. So does that mean we can live however we want? Ha ha, no. Accepting Jesus into your heart isn’t a ticket to a fun life. Look at the early church, or the church now. In Iraq, girls are being kidnapped and their brothers are being murdered, for the only crime of being Christians. Adherence to God will produce two things: hostility, and a renewed sense of gratefulness and purpose.
Because of this we should try our best to keep all of the things commanded to us. We’re not perfect, and we can’t do anything, but the last thing we should be doing is picking four we like and ignoring all the others. Since when has that helped you in your homework?
Like it or not, every deed we do will be judged someday, and to each will be given according to his work. It’s not something you can lose salvation over, but beware…do you want to be shamed because of stinginess? How about to be thought of as a hypocrite by those who you’re trying to evangelize? What we do has consequences, and when we forget our duty, we become ineffective soldiers…forgetful Cinderellas. We have been chosen for so much more than to sit around and argue about theology. It’s time for us to live what we preach, to stand with our brothers and sisters, because they’re the ones on the front lines, and those on the homefront realize that they’re in danger too. For if the front lines fall…
We’re done for.