We’re eXpected to be perfect? With eXpectations like that, no wonder people take issue with Christianity.
So what exactly does God expect from us? Since he is a holy, perfect God, imperfection cannot be tolerated in his presence.
But here’s the rub….God doesn’t demand perfection from us…yet he wants a relationship with us. He knows there is a hugs gap between his perfect law and our inability to measure up to it. We tend to want to close that gap by our own means. Sometimes we do it by lowering the bar and telling ourselves that God couldn’t have really meant (fill in the blank). That lets us off the hook for bad behavior or attitudes. Other times, we try and overcompensate by trying to become Christian overachievers. Both methods fall short of the goal.
We don’t have to perform for God. Constantly dwelling on living up to impossible, perfect, expectations robs us of the joy of having that special relationship between Creator and Creation. But sometimes we still tend to think that in order to be a *good Christian* we need to up our game so we’re more worthy in God’s eyes. The harder we try to live up to all those eXpectations and rules, the more frustrated we get…thinking we’ll never be good enough…thinking we’re nothing but failures.
So what’s a Christian to do? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking God operates on a reward system and the better you are, the more blessed your life. The truth is, the only expectation God has for us is to rely on him to work through us. We need to ask God to work in our lives and by doing so, we fulfill all the expectations he has for us. Rely on God as we make our feeble attempts to live up to his laws…leaning on his grace and guidance.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:8-10
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death…For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. ~Romans 8:1-2, 14