Have you ever had so much to do, you thought your mind would explode just thinking about it all? I have definitely been there MORE than once! I used to lose sleep over worrying about every little detail, analyzing every conversation, and trying to organize my days to come, out in the hours before falling into that much needed rest.
Not to mention all of the volunteer activities that I was apart of. I would busy myself to the point of exhaustion and every time I would make headway in my schedule and things started to look clearer, I would add something else . . . I needed to have too many things going on at once to feel normal, or to “feel” as if I was doing my part, after all.
Not only would I do these things I had little energy to do, I would encourage others to do them as well. Making and believing comments like, “If you get involved you will feel more fulfilled, you will make new friends, and you will be happy doing life together this way.“
Not that those statements were untrue or that the things were bad, most of them were pretty good, actually – – but doing them to the point of losing myself in them, was not good. Because more often than not, you start volunteering for one thing, then it’s another, and then some more, and more, and more things to “fill the gap” for the others who refuse to “step up.” It then spins out of control into a downward “volunteering” spiral . . . Ok, maybe that is a tad dramatic, but hey, it happens 😉
Anyway, I have a quickie for ya from the Book of Matthew that will help you to realize, if you’re like me and need a little prodding from the ONE who created you, that you can STOP doing ALL that STUFF, and still be a good Christian . . . possibly even a BETTER one . . . possibly, and this may step on a few toes . . .
. . . you could even stop being mediocre . . . just a possibility.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.
14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and make long prayers just for show. This is why you will receive a harsher punishment.
The teachers of the law (scribes) and Pharisees were such hypocrites that not only were they ruining their own chances of entering the kingdom of God, they were also bringing others down with them; including others that would have otherwise entered in.
It says the others were trying to enter in – so it can be assumed these “others” were looking up to the Pharisees and teachers of the law to show them the way – but, by following their example, the people “trying to enter” actually hindered their entrance.
What does this say to us today?
For one thing, being a hypocrite is BAD… (another “duh” moment, I know, right??). But, I think it is important to realize here that *my* influence and *your* influence on others can either add to or subtract from them – – – it can bring them closer to God or make them want to runaway. Indirectly, it can cause someone to either accept or reject the kingdom of God.
You see, the religious fanatics were following the law the best they could in their own strength and being proud about it as well. Instead of encouraging others to seek God, the Pharisees and scribes were encouraging the people to perform a set of “to do’s” and in the process seek self and what self can do to earn God’s love and acceptance.
But, it just doesn’t work that way.
For another thing, We have to stop trying to do things in our own strength to please God. We have to STOP believing the lie that, “if I don’t do ALL of this stuff, it won’t get done.”
He wants our hearts above all. And when He has our hearts, that’s when we move from being mediocre to being EVERYTHING we were meant to be!
In fact, Our relationship with Christ actually improves when we stop filling our schedules to the brim with “good things,” and start leaving room (I should say, start MAKING room) for the One who makes us great . . . taking us from the life of mediocrity, of just getting by with our time each day, to the magnificent life He destined for us to live and paid the Heavy price for us –His kids– to be able to truly LIVE!
I just pray today that the example we set be one that adds to the kingdom, rather than one that takes away from it! And that we stop falling into the mindset that we are really living when we are DOING a million things . . . when in fact, we’re doing anything but.
Just ask yourself, if the things you are involved in . . . Are you checking off all these things to feel more fulfilled, to feel alive? Or are you doing them out of genuine satisfaction?
And just remember . . . Christ wants us to live our lives to the FULL, not wither away under the activities bandwagon.
** Para ver estos versos en español, haga clic en el siguiente enlace: San Mateo 23: 13-14, (TLA)