Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"You have to learn to pace yourself - you're just like everybody else" - Billy Joel

Human beings can be placed under a lot of pressure. There are friends and family with expectations, there are things looming at work - and these all bear down upon us. But that's not the bad pressure - the bad pressure is when you place an artificial standard upon yourself.

Consider the pressure you place upon yourself where you:
1. Set an unrealistic expectation of what you will do.
2. Think that if you only get X done for Y, they will love you, when Y isn't going to change.
3. Think that if you disappoint Y, Y will hate you forever and ever - even though that is not the case.

Spiritually speaking, the pressure in a Christian's life comes in when Y=God. What is the stress of the Christian life other than thinking, "Boy, I'm gonna impress God and He's gonna like me if I do ______" or "I better do ________ otherwise God isn't gonna love me"? Now, we don't often think these specific words, we don't say this (sometimes we do, but not often) - but it can be what we feel.

This is horrid. Our reaction to this kind of thinking/feeling is horrid, and it is a horrid way to think about God. It's an abuse of the Law, to where we end up mired in the muck of loss and failure.

I would contend that Christian freedom is precisely freedom from this self-placed pressure. So often we want to view ourselves as the lynchpin upon which the whole world turns - but what are we constantly told in Scripture. To behold Christ, to see Him. He is the true lynch pin - the pressure was on Him and He excelled where we would have failed. And risen and victorious, He gives us forgiveness, life, salvation, and freedom in Him. And if the Son sets you free. . . you are free indeed.

Flee from pressure that you place upon yourself. That is not what God deigns for you. It isn't about you, it's about Christ - and you will decrease (it will be less and less about you) and Christ will increase.

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