I remember when I was young, whenever I’d feel bad about my spiritual condition, I’d go confess my sins and I would be told to pray a number of memorized prayers and then my sins would be “absolved.”
I carried this over in my faith journey when I met Christ. There were moments when I would feel bad about what I ‘ve done, I would ‘punish’ myself by not watching TV or going out with friends for a week.
But before the ‘penalty week’ was over, I would end up doing the same thing again and another week would be added.
It came to a point that I couldn’t even fulfill the commitment to punish myself.
This kept on, not realizing that guilt was what was driving my spiritual life.
If I felt guilty, I’d go to church.
If I felt guilty, I’d read my Bible more.
If I felt guilty, I’d serve others.
If I felt guilty, I’d give extra in the offering plate.
But that’s not what Jesus died for.
The gospel tells us that we have been freed from guilt and shame.
Much more, it never works for guilt to drive my spiritual life.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For Christ’s love compels us.”
In other words, it understanding that I am loved by Him… unconditionally.
THAT is what drives me to love Him back.
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
I pray that this would be a gentle reminder for everyone of us as we start off this week with Jesus as our number 1 priority.