If you’ve tried and failed at doing what you think “Good Christians” are supposed to do, I’ve been there too.
In my podcast, Manly With Andy, I recently had a conversation with pastor J. Kevin Butcher, who struggled with that same issue his whole life and wrote a book about it called, Free: Rescued from Shame-Based Religion, Released into the Life-Giving Love of Jesus.
The concepts Butcher brings to this episode will certainly give you peace, and maybe a new perspective on your relationship with God. Here are two of the topics we discussed.
1. Abiding in God’s love
As we talked, J. Kevin Butcher brought up the concept of abiding in God’s love. It is an idea that is essential to understanding the nature of our relationship with God.
By abiding in God’s love, we accept the invitation to come closer to God and make Him the center of our lives. We can rest in God’s love, finding joy and peace in the midst of a chaotic and uncertain world.
In the episode, Kevin explains that Jesus invites us to abide in His love, as He instructs His disciples in John 15:9. Jesus does not focus on the rules, but instead invites us to make our home in His love. This is an invitation to come closer to God and to find rest in Him.
2. “Just do it Christianity”
Butcher also talks about the concept of “just do it Christianity,” which is the idea that we must try harder and obey the rules in order to be a “Good Christian.” He explains that this is not what Jesus intended, and that His love is meant to be at the core of our faith.
Butcher talks about how he struggled with this idea for many years, and how one incident helped him finally overcome it at 36 years old. While driving through the east side of Detroit, he almost drove his car into a cement embankment, but God saved him. That was the moment where he realized he had been trying to do everything “right”, but it was not enough. He was finally able to come to terms with the fact that he needed to embrace God’s love more.
By the end of our conversation, it was clear to me that abiding in God’s love is essential to our faith. It is an invitation to come closer to God and to find rest. It is also an invitation to reject the idea of “just do it Christianity.” We can trust that God’s grace and loving nature is enough. Abiding in God’s love is the only way to find true peace and joy in this life.
You can listen to the entire conversation by searching for Manly With Andy wherever you listen to podcasts, or by following the link: Manly With Andy