Friday, September 30, 2011

Dreadful Checklist

Hi everyone, I want to share a note from a friend on Facebook for those of you who lack Facebook accounts! This note holds much wisdom!

I am unable to sleep tonight. I wish I was able to pin point exactly what is keeping me up. Gosh, it could be a number of things.....was it something that happened to me today? Maybe something I ate? Did I intentionally hurt the feelings of someone? Did I forget to fill up my car with gas? Hmmmm, maybe it was the story I read in the paper; about the father who threw his son overboard and justified it with “I was horse-playing!” It could very well be the fact that I have to wake up early in the morning to run, a list full of errands, that I really do not want to do. Or maybe the planning of my sister’s wedding is somewhat overwhelming and stressful. Maybe I have been too busy. Ok lets quickly run through the checklist…
Have I been taking time off in my day to pray? Well yes, of course. More than 5 times a day, at least. Ok phew. Check. That cannot be the problem.

Have I been reading Gods’ Word? Yes. Twenty chapters a day. Check check. Ok good, then that shouldn’t be the problem.

Have I been attending church regularly? Hmmm, well when I am able to, I try to make it. But I listen to sermons online , so that balances my church attendance out…right? Yes. Ok, Check.

Do I give my share of the tithes and offerings? I sure do, I make sure I give the biggest bill I have in my wallet. Hmmm, well on the days I bring my wallet to church… but yeah, I am going to give myself a Check.

Do I love my neighbors? Yes I do… very much so actually. Alrighty, Check Check Check.

I am obedient. I try respecting my parents as best as I can. I fast at least once a week…sometimes more. I keep the Sabbath holy(haven’t worked a Sunday in months now). I surround myself with good Christ-loving friends, whom encourage me. I care about the poor and needy, they are always in my prayers.
Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

Yep. Spiritual life is looking like it is in place. So why do I feel so empty? I live a good Christian life. I stay away from sin, actually as a matter of fact, I flee from it (2 timothy 2:22). Wow, do you see that? I just quoted Scripture. So what could be wrong??? Why is my heart heavy?

When did my walk with God become a mere checklist? When did my self-righteousness turn me into this hypocrite? Where did I being to comprehend the mercy and love of my God on the basis of my actions? Why have I become just like the Pharisee’s?

Maybe I do not place heavy burdens on the people. Nor do I seek the best seats in the synagogues. I have no intention of devouring widows’ houses. But I have something in common with them. I have heavily relied on a religious system that consists of traditions, special prayers and checklists.

Is that all my walk with God has become? Is that why I strive to be different then the world? Why my morals and standards are rather high? Is it merely the fact that I have this empty hole in my heart which is in need of being filled with a, self-created, self-assuring, thought; that something greater than I exists? So I keep filling my planner with works that ‘might’ make me good enough to enter the throne gates of Heaven? In all honesty, who is keeping track of my list along with me? Whom am I comparing my list of “deeds” to?

This is the shameful moment where I wish, truly, that I had forgotten to fill up my car. Sometimes when God humbles us… He really humbles us.

Forgive me Jesus!!! For You have been patient, awaiting for me to realize a valuable lesson. This relationship of Sinner and Savior has nothing to do with how good I can become. Nor does it have anything to do with how bad I am. I will never reach total perfection here on earth. I will sin and fall short of the glory of God day in, and day out. But regardless of how hard I strive and what I achieve, He is going to see a sinner whom is in desperate need of love. I am throwing away my religious system for something far better. A relationship with a God, who loves me! And it is HIS love… that compels me do the things I do.

I ask for you, my dearly beloved friend, to throw away your religion.

Liliya Petrovna Sidorchuk