Nobody likes to be put under pressure. In this life, we are under one form of pressure or the other. The pressure to be successful, pressure to get married, make good grades, have a job, please your parents, even pressure to be happy.
Unfortunately, as Christians, we often feel like we’re under pressure to serve God. We “have to make him happy”. Human beings will do anything they can to avoid pressures they can do without and with this attitude, little wonder why so many run away from God.
Its heartbreaking to see the pressures we pile on ourselves as Christians.
” You must pray 3 hours daily or you’re not spiritual enough”
“If you don’t have a “quiet time” in the morning, you have not said good morning to God and he’s not pleased with you”
“if you don’t give an offering on Sunday, God won’t bless you for the week” or
“If your offering is small, your blessing will be small”
“If you do something wrong, and you don’t ask for forgiveness immediately, God will be angry with you until you pray for forgiveness”
I’m sure some of you can make your own list of church rules and regulations that put you under undue pressure. Now, while some of these are good for discipline, they can become legalistic and become a form of religion.
So you don’t pray 3 hours daily. That does not make you less a Christian. God sees your heart, knows you personally and knows your motives.
God doesn’t put anyone under pressure. Religion does that. There’s a huge difference between Christian tradition and the Christian life.
Study this: Colossians 2: 16 – 23 (NLT)
16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
(I recommend you study this whole chapter actually)
Tradition is man made practice, Christian living is life in the spirit by faith in Christ, trusting in what he has done.
True perfection can only be found in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
Don’t let anyone put you under pressure. Don’t put yourself under pressure too. Christ has made us free. Live in that freedom and rejoice in what has been done for you!