Friday, June 15, 2012

Jesus Isn't Concerned by Your Bad Behaviour

Jesus isn’t concerned or anxious by homosexuality or mothers who abort their babies or by drug users. He isn’t bothered by our behaviours. Jesus didn’t live and die so our behaviour is maintained and controlled, he lived and died so our heart would be changed. When our heart (heart = mind, will & emotions) is changed, the behaviour is also changed. The difference between each is law and grace. The law can only affect the outward behaviour but it doesn’t change inward rebellion.

The province of BC where I live is pro-union. I don’t know what it’s like where you live but every year at least one union is threatening strike action. Some public services are deemed essential service, such as healthcare or education. They cannot legally strike so they opt to move to work-to-rule. Basically it means they will only perform their outlined job duties and nothing more. While it doesn’t halt the operations of the service, it does handicap the ability to serve well or fully.

This past school year teachers have been in union contract negotiations, but both sides have been at an impasse without coming to a decision. Some teachers (fortunately not my Boy’s teacher) have ground their heels into the ground and stuck to their guns about work-to-rule. Extracurricular activities have ceased because it requires teacher supervision over and above their regular teaching duties and in some elementary schools recess was cut out of the day. (I still don’t understand the logic for that decision – children will let off energy some way, if not outside then inside while the teacher is trying to teach.)

The Mosaic Law is like a work-to-rule mentality; we must keep the minimum standard but do nothing more. Grace, on the other hand, says the Law was fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection so we are no longer bound by the law. For many, they equate not being subject to the Law the same as lawlessness. It’s not the same thing; grace is a higher standard than the Law, not a lower one.  

Modified behaviour only lasts for so long; it must be monitored all the time. Stress or anything that turns our attention away from it will cause us to fail because our focus must be on not doing (or doing) a certain behaviour. When my heart changes as Jesus becomes my saviour in all things, I don’t have to worry or focus on my behaviour.  Behaviour is the fruit of our mind, will & emotions.

An apple tree doesn’t strain and push to produce an apple, it’s in the nature of the tree to produce an apple, likewise, a heart that has been touched by God will produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. We don’t have to strive for fruit if our heart is changed.

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