I’d like to do something different today. I’d like to ask your view about a statement I am about to make.
Last night, I was talking with my best friend Brett, and touched on some pretty interesting things. One of the things we talked about was the seemingly backwards approach we take towards our “behavior”, or shall I say, towards changing our behavior.
As we were talking, I was searching my mind for a memory of Jesus preaching out a list of things not to do…you know, such as “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t gamble.” I tried as best I could, but was not able to recall even a single instance where the thrust of Jesus’ preaching was a list of things we can’t do as His followers. Strangely, I started coming up with a list of things inside of my mind that He said we could do as Brett and I talked.
Our conversation hinged on the idea that if we are going to focus on our efforts at changing our behavior, we are going to fail, because we’ve always failed. We asked whether having Jesus inside of us would make any difference towards those efforts, and I think we agreed that the difference was the approach rather than the effort and or success.
The approach (and thus, the statement) is this:
We have passed from fear of death into the celebration of life.
In our fear, we could try as we might to change our behavior, with little or no lasting success. Even if we did modify our behavior, it did nothing toward our reconciliation with our Abba. Jesus handled that by himself, and since that time, if our focus is on modifying our behavior because we feel guilty about something, then our focus is on death.
So what would a focus on the celebration of life look like? Do you think having that new focus might change things in your life? These are the things I care about, and that is why I am asking for your opinion on this.
Remember, we have passed from fear of death INTO the celebration of life.