132019Aug
Easy Going

Easy Going

“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2, ESV)

A common lie that I have caught myself falling for is this:

“The only thing of value is something I have to work hard for.”

While it can sometimes be true that something earned through hard work is of great value, it is not ALWAYS true. If it were, that would mean anything that comes free and/or easy is of no or little value. To use an extreme example here, God’s grace that He freely offers to us would not be of value. The lie would propose that our efforts offer more value. Obviously, the opposite is true there. There is nothing more valuable than grace, and there is nothing we do to earn it or anything that comes along with it: unconditional love, acceptance, significance, security, restoration, and reconciliation to name a few. Even the best striving and endless efforts to earn favor fall short of anything of value. Instead, as those works fail and serve to get us off course in life, we wind up feeling frustrated, anxious, and hopeless.

The truth is, what comes easy can be of the greatest value.  

When I look at myself and what I have to offer, I often have difficulty seeing anything of value in the things that come easy to me. Instead, I look at the things I think people need from me, and I value them as I put great effort into trying to be that person and do those certain things. As I strive to do those things, it becomes all about me and what I can do instead of what Christ in me can do.

Recently, I was challenged with the truth I have presented above. What if the most valuable things I have to offer just so happen to be what also comes easy to me? What if being who I truly am (the very definition of “Christ in me”) and offering myself to others is the will of God for me? What if “being who God created us to be” (Christ in us) reflects Him back and forth between us better than anything else we could do?

The gifts we have to offer were placed within us by God when he knit us together (Psalm 139:13-14). That would make it our destiny to merely act on who He created us to be in order to offer what is most valuable to each other.

What comes easy to you? Think about it. It’s a question that could take us down a path of discovery. To a person who loves to paint, painting comes easy. To a person who was destined to listen to others share their struggle, listening comes easy. Whatever our God-given gifts are, while they may require some effort at times, they will not be things that completely drain us. It’s invigorating to act on the very things God has placed within us when we interact with the world and those around us.

Again, what comes easy for you? This may be a very difficult question to answer for some of us because this world gears us to act in ways that are contrary to who God created us to be. Some of us are spending inordinate amounts of time doing things that are in direct opposition to the essence of who we are.

As we explore this question, it would be wise to ask others what they see as being easy for us. Trusting God and others with ourselves is a vital part of this path. Others will likely see what comes easy for us as an invaluable asset in our interaction with them. In exploring this question with God and others, we might discover more of what it looks like to be who we were created to be. Maybe, just maybe, we will find the greatest value will come from what is easiest for us.

-Neil

Reference:

Thrall, McNicol, and McElrath (1999) The Ascent of a Leader. Phoenix, AZ: Trueface

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