Thursday, November 19, 2009

Religion vs. Gospel

This came from my friend's sister's church.  But I found it  super interesting.  And something to be thinking about.  Where do you fit?



I obey- therefore I am accepted

Motivation is based on fear and insecurity


I obey God in order to get things from God



When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe, like Job’s friends, that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life



When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a “good person”.  Threats to that self-image much be destroyed at all cost




My prayer life consists largely of repetition and it only heats up when I am in a time of need.  My main purpose of prayer is control of the environment


My self-view swings between two poles.  If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people.  If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble, but not confident- I feel like a failure.



My Identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work.  Or how moral I am, and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy and immoral.  I disdain and feel superior to “the other”




Since I look to my own pedigree or performance for my spiritual acceptability, my heart manufactures idols.  It may be my talents, my moral record, my personal discipline, my social status, etc.  I absolutely have to have them so they serve as my hope, meaning, happiness, security, and significance, whatever I may say I believe about God







I’m accepted- therefore I obey


Motivation is based on grateful joy


I obey God to get God- to delight and resemble Him


When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while He may allow this for my training, He will exercise His Fatherly love within my trial


When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to think of myself as a “good person”.  My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ.  I can take criticism.  That is how I became a Christian


My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration.  My main purpose is fellowship with Him



My self-view is not based on a view of myself as a moral achiever.  In Christ I am simultaneously sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ.  I am so bad He had to die for me and I am so loved He was glad to die for me.  This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time.  Neither swaggering not sniveling


My identity and self-worth are centered on the one who died for His enemies, who was excluded from the city for me.  I am saved by sheer grace.  So I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me.  Only by grace I am what I am.  I’ve no inner need to win arguments


I have many good things in my life- family, work, spiritual disciplines, etc. but none of these things are ultimate things to me.  None of them are things I absolutely have to have, so there is a limit to much anxiety, bitterness, and despondency they can inflict on my when they are threatened and lost