When my friend wrote a blog post titled “Being a Christian is Hard” my immediate thought was “Is it? Or do we just make it hard?”
Part way through the post, my friend said the same thing, but only to ask the question. These were my thoughts in response, which I added as a comment, but I thought were worth putting down here too.
We do try too hard, even if we only focus on those key actions of love, obey and forgive.
Remember: the law is beyond us. The sermon on the mount is beyond us. “Love as I love you” is beyond us.
We all (and of course I include myself) need to relax, trust God, and trust ourselves. Trust our instincts because we are made in God’s image. Trust our conscience because it is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Trust our wisdom which is a gift from God. If we trust in those things with humility, then we are not leaning on our own understanding but we are leaning on God with us. And when we lean on God with us we can relax and trust what He said:
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
Matthew 11:28-30 NIVUK
It’s all so much easier said than done. We want to do our best, we want to please the Lord, we want to try. And if we realise we’re trying too hard, we try not to try. Being a Christian can be very trying!
I’m learning to trust more than I try. I’m learning to be more than I do. I think it’s a lifelong lesson though, and I’m just grateful any time I manage to rest in God.