Being a Christian can be complicated and confusing sometimes. Depending on who you listen to, you may walk away feeling as if there is no way you are getting into Heaven. Some of the information may seem conflicting as well, such as: You can’t get into Heaven by performing good deeds alone. You turn around and hear something to the effect: “Live the best life you can. Be as good as you can. Help as many people as you can.” So who is right?
The Old Testament is filled with laws that were strictly enforced. Those laws can be overwhelming to some. Trying to navigate the Old Testament laws to a person unfamiliar to the Bible and Christianity can strike fear into their minds that if you mess up, ZAP!, you can be turned to dust.
And then we add in the New Testament, which can seemingly change the entire rule book. But, I believe it simplified all rules, laws, ordinances and statutes previously learned. Instead of having a long list of what-to-do and what-not-to-do, Jesus broke it all down to one very simple command: Love one another. That is it. We are to love one another as He loves us. If we make those three words the foundation of our character and lifestyle, all the other laws will be in compliance.
I believe we tend to over complicate life. Consciously or not, we place parameters on ourselves hoping that we can make it through each day without tipping the sin scale against us. When we do make mistakes, the burden we place on ourselves is far greater than what God does.
God has already proven time and time again, He loves us despite who we are and what we do. He designed us knowing we would be flawed. He knows we will sin daily. It is the repentant heart that matters to Him.
However, we cannot continue to sin with no respect for the consequences or how it will effect others.
One of the greatest examples of God’s love and how it trumps the “good works” clause or whatever rules we place on ourselves is the relationship He had with David. David is one of the greatest figures in the Old Testament. However, David was heavily flawed in his actions, decisions and character. What set David apart and earned him the title “A man after God’s own heart,” was the fact he was willing to admit his sin and ask for forgiveness.
That can be very difficult for many of today’s Christians. We look for justification in some of our actions; there must be a good reason for doing what we do even if it is wrong. Truth is we are flawed sinful human beings who are going to make the wrong choices from time to time. Guess what, it is no secret to God. And no matter what, He is going to love you or it.
So when you find yourself feeling your walk with Christ is complicated and you are conflicted, I encourage you to reflect on the stories of King David. God loved him despite his constant breaking of His laws. He loves you too.
Don’t let Christianity be too complicated. Remember the one command Jesus gave, “Love one another,” and make it your life motto, actually live by it and you will surely secure your place in Heaven.
James Fansler is Lake Placid police chief. He can be reached at email@example.com .