Mar 282013 1 Response

Stop Trying to Live a Great Life and Live a Grateful One

I recognize the irony. I’m writing under my name, beside my picture, on a website with my name, while sharing it on my facebook account, my Google+ account, and on my twitter account which happens to also be my name. So Kevin is writing a post with Kevin’s picture at Kevin’s website and is sharing it on Kevin’s facebook account, Kevin’s google account, and Kevin’s Twitter account. I see the irony. But I’m going to say it anyway—stop trying to live your great life.

The gospel frees us to some wonderful news—you don’t have to be great. As a matter of fact, you can’t be great. (See: Please and Thank You Matter as Much as Sex)

I appreciate the teaching by so many Christians who are challenging Christians out of mediocrity and into living a great life. I get the point and I don’t take it lightly. Yet the gospel has far better news than a challenge for us to try great things. The gospel frees us to insignificance, to mediocrity, to no one ever discovering us or to no great day when we quit your day job to pursue our dream.

It’s ok to be mediocre. To be normal. To work the assembly line, work 8–5, or make a normal wage at a normal job which no one will ever recognize.grateful

It’s ok to struggle in marriage, to be divorced, to have past mistakes for which we are ashamed and current struggles which we won’t always win.

It’s ok not to be spectacular. We don’t have to live our best life now. And even if we could make everyday Friday, we wouldn’t really want to.

The good news of the gospel is not that we can do amazing things, it’s that God has done an amazing thing for us. (See: A Map for Navigating Life’s Disappointments)

That’s it.

He’s done it.

We are free to live in grateful response to what he has done.

  • Whether I’m speaking to thousands of people or rocking one baby, it’s all to be done in gratitude.
  • Whether I’m loving every minute of my job or grueling to get through every day, it’s all to be done in grateful obedience.
  • Whether my work is a great success or a horrible failure, it’s all to be done for his glory.

Here’s my problem with the current rage of living a great life—it’s awfully easy for it to become self-centered. The focus becomes on what I can do for God. The truth is, if we asked the question “what can I do for God” the answer would be “nothing.” No matter how great we are, it doesn’t impress God. (See: What I Mean When I Say You Are a Sinner)

Thankfully, we don’t  have to impress God. We don’t even have to appease him, because Jesus has appeased him on our behalf. The gospel gives us a different option. We don’t have to be great, so we are free to be grateful.

Do you feel pressure to do be great? How would your life be different without the pressure to succeed?

One Response to Stop Trying to Live a Great Life and Live a Grateful One
  1. […] On a weekly basis, I speak with people experiencing disappointment. I’m reminded of how quickl...

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