Do you ever forget, like I do, what we have access to as children of God? Often, I think we Christians forget that our lives don’t have to look the same as everyone else’s. Let me explain.
Think for a moment about the way the rest of the world lives their lives on a daily basis. Most people’s lives are packed to the max. Families are always stressed, way too busy, and pack their schedules with unnecessary commitments. People are wearing themselves out climbing the ladder of success, only to miss out on the joys of life along the way. People are living in fear and turning to material things and false securities to find their strength or a sense of peace. People are living with deep guilt and regret for the mistakes and choices they’ve made. Marriages are falling apart left and right, and the biggest priority in life seems to be self above all else. It’s a broken world… no one would argue with that.
Here’s my question: Why is it that the lives of so many Christians (my life included!) can start to resemble the picture I just painted? Granted, we are all broken and sinful people at the core, but I think we often forget that as adopted children of God, we have the opportunity to live differently than the rest of the world. Yet, it’s so easy to forget this truth when we live day to day life surrounded by a world that lives in the way I described above.
That’s why I love 2 Peter 1. Peter is writing to believers as if to say, “Snap out of it!” Often, I need this sort of shoulder-shaking faith reminder… and I’m sure you might, too.
2 Peter 1:1-9 (the MSG) says,
“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
There is seriously so much goodness in these sentences, and I could focus on any number of these truths… but I want to trust that no matter what time of the day you are pausing to read this little post, the Lord will reveal to you what part of those verses, or the entirety of 2 Peter 1, He wants you to rest in today.
For me, the biggest thing I think God is telling me is that I don’t have to live my life like the rest of the world does. In fact, my life should look totally different from the rest of the world. As a daughter of Christ, I can live in freedom… not overcome by guilt due to my mistakes and failings. I don’t have to cling to worldly things for my security or turn to temporary comforts for my satisfaction… the only thing that can truly satisfy my soul is my Jesus. I don’t have to be fearful about the future, but instead, I can trust that God has a plan for my life and that He is a provider at His very nature. I don’t have to be busy and stressed all the time, but I can live a full life. I can live a full life that honors God and allows me to treat my body like a temple, rather than running it into the ground all the time as I try to do “all the things” in order to just keep up. My goals don’t have to be centered around money, prosperity, and success… instead, they can just focus on what will honor my God the most every single day. And I don’t have to be enough on my own… in fact, I was never made to be enough in the first place. I shouldn’t hold myself to the same standards that the rest of the world holds themselves to… because the only reason they do so is the fact that they don’t know Jesus.
I hope you are reminded today that your life as a Christian should look different from the rest of the world’s lives… and that full life is already waiting for you to take hold of. Jesus is just waiting.