Stop Checking the Boxes: Focus on God Alone

Depend on God Alone

Being a Christian is isn’t always easy, but for some reason we often make it incredibly difficult. Frequently, we look at being a Christian as a series of checklists. Are we praying enough? Are we going to church every week? Are we reading our Bible every day? If so, then surely we are doing a good job.

Unfortunately, this method of being a “Christian” is guaranteed to fail. There are ultimately two outcomes of this approach. First, we do great, we check off boxes, and then we become self-righteous. Or, we fail to check off the boxes and we then become bogged down with disappointment and we feel useless and worthless. How could God ever love us?

When we focus on tasks – on checking the boxes – then we often forget our mission. We forget our main focus and our main purpose.

Below are a few things to remember each day, to help you draw closer to God and experience His unending grace.

Remember God Loves Us

Life is hard. We are broken people and as such, our sin is exposed. How can God love us when we are so bad – when we mess up every single day?

God uses our sin to bring to light our disobedience. He wants us to repent, to believe, to trust him, and to fight our sin. But regardless of what we do, God loves us. God loves you. Sometimes it can be so hard to remember that God always loves us, especially since sometimes we do not love ourselves.

Why? Because we often fail to love unconditionally as humans. Furthermore, we often have views of “love” based on how our human parents love us. We view God our Father like we do our earthly, human, fallible fathers. With so many people having all but perfect love coming from their parents, it is easy to see how it can be hard for to see that God loves us, despite our sin.

Every day, we get a clean slate with God (thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice).

Think of the beach. Every day thousands of people walk on the beach. Footprints are left in the sand. Sandcastles are built. But every night, the ocean washes away all of those prints. The ocean removes all of those imperfections. In the same way, God washes away our sins, giving us a fresh start each and every day.

The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3: 22-23

Remember Credit Goes to God

Going back to the example above, we can sometimes get so focused on checking off the boxes of what a “good Christian” does that we forget to keep our focus on what matters – God. Your focus should always be on God. The works that come out of that focus on God are to be given credit to God and God alone.

Anything outside of this sheer devotion and focus on God leads to self-righteousness.

Simply checking off a list is not really loving God. It is not getting to know God.

Remember We Are to Die for Christ

Jesus made it abundantly clear that in order to have eternal life you have to give up your life. You are to die and become anew to follow Christ. These aren’t recommendations or things that are deemed only for a certain few, Jesus was talking to all people.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24

We have to experience the supernatural, transforming power of Jesus. We have to believe that God loves us, despite our sin. We have to remember God has to be at the center of it all. For God to be the center, we no longer can be – we have to die so the Spirit can live in us.

God never promised that being a Christian would be hard. He promised to lead us, direct us, guide us, and he promised everlasting life. The blood of Christ cleanses us from sin and the power of sin. Being a Christian is turning to Christ – for rescue and for transformation. Being a Christian is loving God.

Questions to Ponder

  • Are you focusing more on your works or on Christ?
  • Do you believe that God truly loves you, despite your sins?
  • Are you really willing to die to yourself to live for Christ?

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