Does God's unconditional love create laziness?
The objection is this...
So, if it truly is finished
If I’m good-to-go with God
not on behalf of anything I do
but by what God has done for me in Jesus...
Then doesn’t this make me lazy?
Like, why do anything
if I don’t HAVE TO do anything?
It’s an honest objection. It is asked by people who think that the point of Christianity is behavior modification.
But what’s so mysterious is this...
This grace-centric gospel actually generates and empowers
risk-taking effort and neighbor-embracing love.
The thing that prevents us from taking risks is the fear that says,
“If you don’t succeed, you’ll lose out on X result that you need
to be happy.”
So what do we do?
We hold back. We don’t put ourselves out there.
The thing that prevents us from loving someone with our full being
is the fear that says,
“If you don’t get love back, all of your love will have been wasted;
all of that time and effort and vulnerability - for naught.”
But with the gospel, the source of our success and love
does not rest on our results.
All of the love and success that we need
has already happened
outside of us.
When I think that I need my kid to love me back
to thank me for all of the things I do for her...
to say she’s sorry every time she messes up...
I’m making an idol out of her
and idols always fail us.
But when I remember that my Ultimate source of love
comes TO ME from OUTSIDE OF ME in Jesus,
I can give love to her without needing anything back
and when it comes, it’s a rare delightful surprise
that I’m also thankful for.
When I think that I need my next sermon
to get a standing ovation (which has yet to happen, btw),
I make an idol out of my audience and all of the pressure
rests on my shoulders to get that response I long for.
But when I remember that because God has eternally loved me,
I don’t need to try to gain that love from them...
The pressure goes away and I’m free to remove any burden
from myself to perform perfectly
or my audience to save me.
This is the liberating truth
that empowers risk-taking freedom
and neighbor-embracing love.
For this eternal promise, I am thankful.