Living Free: I'm Feeling Risky
One of the saddest things I see throughout the body of Christ is people being afraid to step out into God’s plan for their life because of a wrong idea of who God is. We’re taught that God is good, but deep down we understand that His goodness has limits. Is He still good if we aren’t good to others? What about when we sin?
A few years ago I was attending a men’s group at church and the youth pastor read James 3:1,
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
He said that verse kept him motivated to do a good job as a youth pastor so God would be pleased with him on the day of judgment. All I could think of was how I never want to become a teacher so I could avoid that high standard from God!
Then, as I began learning God’s heart toward us, this verse made less and less sense to me. I thought the blood of Jesus was meant to set the world free, but apparently teachers aren’t included in that. Did the cross only work for those who never step out and fulfill the call on their life? That can’t be right!
The thing about religion is it teaches us that we need to try harder to please a God who doesn’t really approve of anything we do. It causes us to add things to scripture that aren’t really there. Nowhere in James 3:1 does it say God will judge us stricter if we become teachers!
What James is saying here is that teachers will receive a stricter judgment from people. Think about it. If you see your pastor arguing with his wife, you’re judging him. Forget the fact that you just got in a much more heated argument with your spouse this morning. He’s the pastor and he should know better.
Should people in a position of authority be held to a higher standard? Yes, they probably should. They have an influence on others and they should be aware of the important role they play in the lives of others. But to say that the blood of Jesus wasn’t strong enough for them in the eyes of God is just wrong. It’s these types of beliefs that keep people from stepping into God’s plan for them. Why not play it safe to avoid the fiery judgment of God?
When you stop looking for reasons for God to be mad at you and begin to see that God wants nothing more than for you to trust Him with your life, you will find a fulfillment that you never thought you could experience. Knowing that God wants you to succeed even more than you want yourself to succeed will cause you to take a risk and do something you never thought you could do—to be something you never thought you could be. Simply step out, trust God, and experience a life that’s better than you could ever dream of.