Freedom from Moralism


While I was putting my son to bed tonight we had the following conversation:

Son: Does Jesus have time for you, mom?
Me: Yeah.
Son: Does Jesus have time for me?
Me: Yeah.
Son: Does Jesus have time for everyone?
Me: Yeah.
Son: But not burglars.
Me: Jesus has time for burglars. He loves everyone, even burglars.
Son: But they STEAL.
Me: Jesus doesn’t like stealing but He loves burglars. He loves us no matter what, even when we do bad things. That’s why He came to rescue us.

At only 3 years old my son already thinks that there are good people and bad people and concludes that Jesus only has time for good people. It’s so natural to see the world this way. We think we have to be good to earn God’s favor, if we’re bad God won’t love us anymore. We think those people are bad and I’m good. We think those people are so good and I can’t measure up. This is dangerous thinking.

Proud Peacock
Jesus’ love is so surprising. When I see myself as “bad” I can be confident that Jesus loves me, no what matter what I’ve done. He came to this world to rescue us from our sins by dying in our place on the cross. When I see myself as “good” I discover that anything good in me comes from Jesus. I can stop comparing myself to others and trying to measure up and instead rest in His love for me. 

Having this conversation with my son made me realize that I need to be careful about my own thinking during this experiment. It’s easy for me to fall into thinking that I’m somehow better than other people because I’m not eating sugar and caffeine. In the Paleo and Primal communities there can also be this sense of superiority over people who follow conventional wisdom about nutrition.

It’s much more important for me to break free from moralism than to break my addition to sugar and caffeine. I’m reminded that I need to return to the cross often and remember who I am. As Timothy Keller so eloquently puts it, “I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but, through Jesus, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope.

When I remember who I truly am my prayers to God are full of thanksgiving and praise and my attitude toward others is full of love.

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