As a pastor, I am privileged to have godly relationships with many believers. Some are rich, poor, educated, or self-taught; but all are human. I’ve noticed a pattern in people. We all live our lives in one of three ways:
- I live according to what I have done.
- I live according to what others have done to me.
- I live according to what Jesus has done for me.
Those that live their lives according to what they have done, live in guilt and shame. Their relationships with their spouses are surface at best, because they can’t get past the fact that they have a secret problem. Church services are painful, because they constantly live in condemnation. No matter how many times they cry tears of repentance, their past or present wrongdoing, is constantly the focus of their minds. Joy isn’t present. Love vacillates. But ever present is their building personal guilt for what they have done.
They begin to isolate themselves. Self-esteem is crushed. They are marked by shame, and feel unworthy to be loved; therefore, they draw away from their dear ones.
People that live according to what has been done to them, live in bitterness and ever building hatred. Oftentimes the hurt was caused by somebody they trusted. So trust is trashed.
Some people were raped, or mentally and physically abused. This causes callousness. The wounds that were inflicted, even if there was healing, have left scars. So again, relationships are limited. Real intimacy with their spouses is non-existent.
Many times they can’t appreciate God as their father, because their father was so abusive. Living in unforgiveness, they don’t experience the heavenly forgiveness that they need. They sometimes try to transfer their pain onto others, hoping to relieve the tremendous weight they feel on their own souls.
Bitterness, like an acid begins to devour the life they have left to live. I feel a lot of pain for people that live in this category. Especially the innocent children that were abused, and now as adults, limp through life trying to experience real love.
Finally, there are people that live according to what Jesus has done for them. This is living at its best. Living based on what Jesus did, frees us to really enjoy life.
We live based on what He did on the cross:
- He redeemed us.
- He forgave us.
- He expiated our sins.
- He justified us.
- He paid our ransom.
- He took our curse away.
- He healed us: body, soul, and spirit.
We live based on what He gave us:
- He gave us abundant life.
- He gave us power to live above sin.
- He gave us freedom from condemnation.
- He gave us the five-fold ministry.
- He gave us grace and mercy.
- He gave us unlimited access to Him through prayer.
- He gave us second chances.
- He gave us joy in place of sorrow.
We live based on what He is doing in us:
- He is sanctifying us.
- He is regenerating us.
- He is performing a good work in us.
- He is forming His image in and through us.
- He is teaching us through His word.
- He is convicting us of our sin.
- He is correcting us through His chastisement.
- He is perfecting His love in us through our loving others.
We lived based on what He is doing through us:
- He loves the world through our kind deeds.
- He is reaching the world through our commitment to His commission.
- He is showing the love of God through our love for one another.
- He is making us fruitful through us adding to our faith.
- He is witnessing to the world through our godly lifestyle.
- He is blessing others through our gifting.
- He is confirming His word through our active faith.
- He is showing the world His original plan for marriage, through our godly, sacrificial, submissive, and committed marriage.
- He is making Himself famous through our emergence as true disciples of Jesus.
This list is more off the cuff then exhaustive. But it still shows us that there is so much benefit to a lifestyle based on what Jesus did. You won’t find satisfaction or wholeness until you transition your focus to what He did. My sufficiency is based on Christ. My power is His power. Remember He became poor that you could be rich. Rich in relationships. Rich in righteousness. Rich in eternal rewards.
There is a lot of talk about what would Jesus do? What about what Jesus did? That’s a much more powerful discussion. I can’t possibly live like Jesus lived, until I get a revelation of what Jesus did. Instead of WWJD – WDJD?