Morality is a Terrible Struggle

This is a devotional from C.D. Baker's book, "101 Cups of Water: Relief and Refreshment for the Tired, Thirsty Soul."

Really, it's my obsession: I'm becoming more and more perfectionistic, judgmental, critical, intense, upright, and nervous. I have trouble loving other because I'm obsessed with my behavior--and theirs. I look around at church and see lots of other hard, unhappy, unwelcoming, defensive faces.

Something is very wrong.

Living morally is a good thing, of course. It's the way God protects us and others from terrible things. But obsession with anything except Jesus is not a good thing. In fact, worshiping morality instead of Jesus is idolatry. When I'm consumed with my moral performance and find myself obessively evaluating the morality of others, I've become a believer in moralism, not the gospel.

My attention to morals is important but, ah the gospel is something else entirely. The gospel teaches me that sound living is the natural fruit of a relationship with God--that the focus of faith is Jesus, not behavior. When I learn to love Jesus, I'll want to live his way (John 14:15), and I'll be freed from the religion of moralism and transformed into a lover of others.

When I keep my eyes on Jesus right living happens!


Ryan Nilsen said…
I love your blog and your church's website! Looking forward to being fed by your sermons as well. Great excerpt you've shared here. Thank you!