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Monday, 23 November 2015


Self-discipline is hard work. Keeping a tight rein on your finances. Watching what you say. Minding your manners. In many ways, it is all about trying to conform to standards set by others – in some cases maybe authority figures like parents, teachers or legislators, or in other cases belief systems. 

Jesus did not come to set up a belief system. He didn’t come to establish an institution with a lot of rules to be obeyed. He came to give life, and life to the full. He came to set us free. He came to save us, not to judge us. He doesn’t want us to judge each other, and he doesn’t want us to judge ourselves.
Maybe that sounds anarchic. Rebellious. Chaotic. 

But Jesus is the Word who brought order out of chaos in creation. He spoke and what was dark and formless became light and beautiful. 

The longer I live, the more I read and study, the more I become convinced that the gold standard for Christians is to have a living relationship with the Father through Jesus by the Holy Spirit. That’s it. Jesus said we need to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, strength and spirit. And we need to love each other like we love ourselves. 

Maybe that takes some self-discipline...but when I fell in love, I didn’t need to discipline myself to write to Don, or be with him. I think that when we are impelled by love, what grows is beautiful and free. 

This train of thought began when I was frustrated this morning by technology beyond my control. I am still struggling six hours later, but I have an unusual sense of peace about this. Like, if it doesn’t work all day, well, then, that’s the way it is. I can’t control it so I need to just let it go. I wondered if my sense of peace is from my recent attempts at fasting from negativity but no, I hadn’t really consciously thought that way. Then I wondered if it was that I was becoming more self-disciplined in controlling my emotions. But no, I don’t think that’s the case either. 

I do think that at the moment I am really excited about God. I am really falling deeper in love with him as I pursue him through his word and through various books I’ve been reading, and in my quiet times and in my worship times. And I think that as a result, the peace that passes understanding has somehow, by osmosis, seeped into me. 

I am walking forward into a time of change and decision, a time requiring me to do things I have not done before and which I would rather never do. I am leaning heavily on God, and rather than feeling like I am dragging my feet forward one step at a time, I feel strangely excited and alert to see what he is going to do to help me and lead me and guide me through this time. 

It isn’t hard work. It’s exhilarating.

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