Have you felt pressure lately?
If you are like me, pressure makes me want to work hard and rise to the occasion. But, there are important boundaries to set in this line of thinking. Let me explain.
The Christian journey is not about arriving at the destination of self-righteousness or acheivement, quite the opposite. The Christian journey is about Christ’s righteousness being expressed through you.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Not by our own achievements. Grace takes the pressure off when you are under pressure.
Here are four ways grace saves you when you are under pressure.
1. Grace saves you from having to be perfect.
“It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised.” – The Apostle Paul
The only two fundamental religions in the world are that of divine accomplishment and that of human achievement. Only Christianity presents salvation as a divine accomplishment by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
The religion of human achievement encompasses all the other religions of the world. Because of this, the Christian church is the perfect place for imperfect people.
See, it’s not the strength of our faith that saves us; it’s the object of our faith that saves us. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, He becomes the object of our faith, and He saves us.
You can’t lose your salvation, because it’s not yours to lose. Christ is the one who does the saving, and He’s got you. It’s ok to be imperfect.
2. Grace saves you from having to please people.
“They desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” – The Apostle Paul
Are you a people pleaser? Let me encourage you to avoid the disease to please. “No” is a powerful word. “No” is also a hard word. We don’t want to let people down, miss out on opportunities, or be labled narrow-minded. However, a well placed “no” is essential in the toolbox of life.
TRUTH: To say yes to the right things, we must say no to the wrong things.
Oswald Chambers said, “the whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.” Too many times, I am guilty of saying yes to things when I should have said no. And, before I know it, I am stretched too thin and overcommitted.
TRUTH: If you’re always available, you’re never available.
In recent months, I have gained a new appreciation for “no.” As a parent, saying “no” is not optional. As a leader, saying “no” defines your organization. As a mentor, saying “no” models to those watching what you think is important. As a kid or a youth, saying “no” can save your life. It is ok to say “no.”
3. Grace saves you from having to be the best.
“Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – The Apostle Paul
The cross allows no place for human pride, status, or achievement. If you believe in humanity’s innate goodness or our ability to save ourselves, you would have difficulty using the cross as a demonstration of God’s love.
If a woman were sitting safely on a pier and someone jumped into the water and drowned in a supposed effort to rescue her, the act would be considered pointless, not loving.
Jesus’ crucifixion was necessary because humanity is not sitting safely on the pier of life but is lost in sin and doomed to death. The crucifixion was necessary because there was no other way for man to be saved.
It is the power of the cross that makes us presentable to God. Jesus Christ is the one and only “greatest of all time.” It’s ok to not be the best.
4. Grace saves you from having to live a life of safety.
“I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” – The Apostle Paul
Somewhere along the line, we believed the lie that we should prioritize safety above all else. But Christ has not called us to live a life of safety.
I have founds that, if a thing costs me nothing, I tend to value it at nothing. Christ values us so profoundly that He was willing to die on a cross for us.
Paul offered as a final proof to his critics the marks of Jesus on his body. They demonstrated he was a slave of Christ and not just a people-pleaser.
At Lystra, he was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. Paul was not a “people pleaser.” It’s ok to prioritize security in Christ over safety in the world.
- Grace saves you from having to be perfect.
- Grace saves you from having to please people.
- Grace saves you from having to be the best.
- Grace saves you from having to live a life of safety.
Grace takes the pressure off when you are under pressure.