I am an overthinker. I am also a perfectionist. That is a bad combination.
So often I turn my life into a giant checklist. As soon as I’ve messed up and missed a box, I mentally give up on the day… after all, it’s not going to be perfect. And then I over-analyze and feel guilty and get discouraged and… well, it all starts again the next day.
Sometimes I feel like Christianity is incredibly complicated. But when I’m actually abiding, when I’m close to God– I realize that it’s actually quite simple.
And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us.1 John 3:23
What is the gospel? What is the Christian’s purpose? What does God want me to do?
I think the verse above simplifies things pretty nicely. He wants us to believe in His Son… and love one another. And one thing proceeds from the other.
The word “believe” in this verse means to “to commit oneself trustfully to the name.” This is more than an intellectual acknowledgement or an agreement that something is true. It’s believing that it’s true, and being so persuaded that it is true–having such confidence–that you act on it.
This is the gospel in a nutshell– entrusting yourself to Jesus, finding refuge from the wrath of God in His Name, and abiding in His great love for you.
This leads to part two– loving others.
And where does love come from? It comes from God (1 John 4:7). If you do the first step… the second step naturally follows.
Christianity is not a checklist. It is not a bunch of character traits to develop, sins to avoid, and things to do perfectly. Christianity is an abiding relationship with a living God. It is getting closer to God… and then obeying Him when you hear His voice.
I’m going to give a disclaimer: I am not really writing this blog post for you guys. I am writing it for me. This is something I need to be reminded of every day.
But– doesn’t it make things more simple? Believe in Jesus and love others. And the one flows from the other.