I think that’s where American Christianity in particular gets it wrong. A lot of what gets preached in pulpits in our churches is a lot of self-help with the name of Jesus thrown in here and there to make it kosher. Most American Christians don’t really know what they believe and aren’t familiar with what the Bible actually teaches. Is it any wonder so many have beliefs that go against what Jesus and Scripture teach?
We are a self-sufficient society. I’ve heard over and over again how Jesus makes me strong. The truth of the matter is that Jesus is my strength. And yes, there is a difference. One leads to me getting to the point where I can handle life on my own and have no need for God. The other is where I see more and more of my mess and my dependence on Jesus only grows deeper and more desperate.
The motto is not “try harder.” The heart’s cry of every believer should be “I believe. Help my unbelief. Here I am. I surrender to You and Your purposes for me. Do your work in and through me.”
It all goes back to how much time I spend with Jesus. I sound like a broken record, but if you and I only give Jesus the scraps of our time, is it any wonder that we sometimes walk through life feeling weak and defeated? Is it any wonder why we have so little anointing in our work and in our walk and in our speech?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-29, The Message).