Have you noticed that in many churches, people have no idea who they really are? Most people are living someone else's life. They are living their lives according to the desires or dictates of someone else because they want to be accepted. Or they are living according to some learned behavior from their family of origin that goes against who they really are in Christ. Because of this we have church full of miserable christians.
The reason we become miserable is because we forget about grace. We certainly understand about grace when it comes to saving grace - that we can be saved no by what we do but simply by trusting Christ. That is, He excepts us even though we are totally unworthy.
The problem is that when we become saved we then forget and try to please God and others by our performance. In our churches we teach that to be a "Good Christian" you must read the Bible, go to church, pray, evangelize, fast and the like. I want you to notice that those things are things we 'do' and can quickly degenerate into things we are supposed to do...perform to please God or serve so our brothers and sisters will like us. Whatever happened to just being with God. To sit in His grace and know that we are loved no matter if we perform or not. We serve because we understand God's love not so we can get God to love us more. I know we understand this in our heads, but maybe in our actions and thoughts, we show we believe something different.
(originally posted 9/27/06)