To make a long story short, I haven’t ridden but twice in the last 8 months. And what is sadder than that is the fact that where we recently moved to is a great place to ride. I can’t go anywhere without seeing someone(s) riding. And undoubtedly, whenever I see someone riding, it reminds me of my own inability to get off my lazy butt and exercise.
And of course that got me to wondering. Was I feeling guilt for not riding or was I missing the feeling and benefits I get from riding? I started remembering the long rides and how great it felt afterwards, like I could eat anything I wanted and not feel bad. I came to the conclusion that I missed the camaraderie of my fellow riders and the joy of sitting on a bike for a couple of hours. I missed sucking down gels like they were M&Ms and drinking water while trying not to lose focus on the wheel 12 inches in front of me. But mainly I just missed doing something that is good for me and that I enjoy.
On the same vibe, God doesn’t guilt us into doing things either. He did not give us the Bible in order for us to be guilted into serving Him or doing the right things. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
I’ll have to admit it took me sometime (years) to figure out what I believe it means. What it means is that God does not show us things in our life that are wrong so that we will feel bad and change. He shows us things that are blocking our ability to see Him and His will for our lives. And once we see what those things are, we have the awesome opportunity to fix them or remove them. And once we do, we are that much closer to Him and to what we were created to be. There is no guilt involved.
Have you ever been sitting or standing in church, either during the worship time or when the pastor was teaching, and thought of something in your life that needs to be changed? I sure have. And I’ve come to the realization that those thoughts aren’t guilt, they are a chance for me to correct something before it gets out of hand, so that my life grows and my relationship with my Savior grows.
Those quiet times at church, or anywhere for that matter, are an incredible opportunity for us as believers to communicate with God. If we will simply listen to what He is telling us we can learn some cool things that will make this life easier; because as we remove sin from our lives the line of communication between us and God become that much clearer.