I have lots of lists. And you probably do too. We have lists of the things we are supposed to do right, the things we aren’t supposed to do wrong, and of course the list of ways we’ve failed to keep the other two lists. But life is about way more than keeping lists.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve been taught rules, and rules are good. Rules and commandments are like boundaries for a life lived in wisdom and safety. And even though God gave us plenty of rules, He never intended a single one of them to be a means of earning His favor. In fact, one of the primary purposes of His law is to bring us face-to-face with our inevitable failure and our need for a Redeemer.
By placing our trust in Jesus as our Redeemer, we are freed forever from the obligation to keep the lists. Now, we get to honor God’s standards and live within His boundaries in freedom, under grace, and motivated by our appreciation for the cross where Jesus died over the list of our sins.
When people compare you to their list, and place undue burdens on you concerning your behavior, remember what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, “These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” (Colossians 2:23 NLT)
That’s right. Keeping the lists doesn’t help. At all. Grace does. So instead of writing longer lists, just dive deeper into the grace and forgiveness of God. When we acknowledge our inability and our weakness, our brokenness before Him, we can begin to experience His power in a whole new way.