I spent years confused by Paul’s statement, “I die every day!” (1 Cor. 15:31). The confusion came because when I became a Christian the message I heard was salvation is a free gift, with no strings attached. The forgiveness of sins was free, apart from merit, works, or duty. I can’t earn it. It’s a free gift that will never be taken away. That was good news! No strings attached? I’m in! Where do I sign up?
But what happens to most of us (probably all of us) is that once we’re in, the message changes. It morphs into something else. It morphs into my own ability to keep God happy with me by the things I do, think, and say. I was no longer free, but weighed down with “Christian duty.” The message changed from Jesus plus nothing to I’m now responsible to be doing A-Z, whatever A-Z was determined to be, and my failure to do A-Z consistently resulted in feelings of guilt and remorse for being such a failure. Failure to have a consistent quiet time resulted in feelings of shame and guilt. Failure to read the Bible through in a year resulted in feelings of shame and guilt. Failure to pray every day with my wife and children brought feelings of shame and guilt. Failure to be the husband and father I was told I needed to be by Continue reading