Are you a “do-it-yourselfer”? Do you like doing home projects? Do you like houses that are “fixer-uppers”? Many of us do. We like to see the reveals. We like to see the “Before” and “After” photos. We love it when they yell, “Move that bus!” to unveil the transformed home.
We are fascinated by do-it-yourself projects. There’s even a DIY Network on cable TV. We like to see that we’ve accomplished something. We feel good that we did it. We feel good about ourselves. We did it ourselves, after all. We admire our work and smile. “Git-er-done”, that’s our motto. It’s the American way. It’s part of what makes our country the best in the world.
This fascination with do-it-yourself carries over to other areas of our life, namely our spiritual life. We feel better about ourselves when we go to church weekly, pray harder, study our Bibles more, and are deeply involved in the seemingly countless programs and projects the church offers. We may not consciously think about it that way, but most of us, truth-be-told, subtly believe it.
If we fail or fall, we try harder. We re-double our efforts. We pick ourselves up and carry on. Consciously or sub-consciously, we hope in ourselves and in our own efforts.
Pastor Tullian Tchividjian says, “The only hope for ourselves is to give up hope in ourselves.” He goes on to say:
“The Gospel is the good news that Jesus has not only done what you could not do for yourself, and He not only has achieved for you what you could never achieve for yourself, and He has not only given you what you could never get for yourself, but He also UNDOES everything you’ve done to mess things up! The Gospel is ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8) The Gospel declares that while we were at our worst, God gave us His best. The Gospel is NOT humanity, and it improved; the Gospel is Christ, and Him crucified.
“The Christian life is a love affair with a unloseable lover. We are clothed in an irremovable suit of forgiveness. We don’t have to go out and try to buy love, earn peace, achieve joy… these are things that are given! For free! Jesus earned those things so that we could freely receive those things. Sinners like you and me are recipients of descending, no-strings-attached, one-way love.
“You are forever loved. You are forever vindicated. You are forever forgiven. Score-keeping with God is over! You are made righteous by what Jesus has accomplished for you.”
This is not “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” This is not self-improvement. This is not you better try harder, turn over a new leaf, or re-double your efforts to be a better Christian. This is not “do-it-yourself” religion. The fascination with do-it-yourself ends here.
Freedom in Christ should really make you free… don’t you think?
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)