"We need to have the relationship chat. Look, we’re just not on the same page. I’m committed to this relationship. It just doesn’t seem that you’re interested. Is that true?”
What do you do when your relationship with Jesus feels like hard work?
Traits of the commitment-phobic Christian include times when I shy away from prayer, when I spend more time on Instagram than in my Bible, making excuses for not going to RML, and holding God’s people at arm’s length. For some of us they may be fleeting behaviours that creep in every now and again. Others of us will be in a full on stand-off with God. Lots of us will be somewhere in the middle.
When I do those things it’s easy to think that I’m ‘not being a very good Christian’. That feeling can push us even further away from Jesus. We think ‘what’s the point in even trying?’ And so we stop trying altogether.
In those moments we need to realise that ‘could try harder’ is not the answer. What’s actually happening is that I’m missing out on the best relationship that’s on offer; a relationship that has already been won for me when Jesus died on the cross.
On Sunday evening we learnt from John 2:13-22 that Jesus could not be more committed to his relationship with his people.
As he overturns the money tables in the temple and drives out the animals he shows us that his priority is bringing about real relationship for God and his people.
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:17)
Just how committed is Jesus to making this relationship possible? Look at the cross and you’ll see the Christ, who gave his life so that you could live.
This news from John 2 shapes our entire approach to our relationship with Jesus. Its good news when we’re in the midst of a commitment-phobic moment.
My relationship with Jesus is not dependent on my zeal. It’s entirely dependent on him and he’s already done the hard part. He’s made the way open. I don’t need to perform rituals and I don’t need to pilgrimage to a special place and I don’t have to tick any boxes.
Instead I get to enjoy a relationship with God through the finished work of Christ. Life is found by believing in his name. It’s time to live it.