I have no time for asterisks when chasing freedom.
Asterisks have no place in the hearts and minds of Jesus’ disciples.
Asterisks are a detriment to growing in love, in purity, in truth, in faith and in hope.
I view asterisks like a heavy yoke I was never meant to bear.
Asterisks are burdens.
They drain us emotionally, socially, physically, mentally and spiritually.
We partner with these freedom-sucking leeches unknowingly.
We interpret scripture with a fearful lens, adding conjunctions to the text.
We initially tell ourselves we’re committed to fulfilling God’s commands then conveniently throw in an ‘unless’. Example:
SCRIPTURE: Spread the Good News to the ends of the earth*
US: (*unless danger is imminent).
SCRIPTURE: Love your neighbor as yourself*
US: (*unless your neighbor is Muslim, gay, homeless, liberal, a refugee, Donald Trump, a sex offender, mentally ill, hate-filled, promiscuous, addicted to meth, a celebrity, etc)
Jesus demonstrated how to live with no strings attached. Safe to say, He left it all on the line when taking up His cross. It’s the great gamble. He tossed all His chips in the pot for the unlikely chance that humans would receive His great love and forgiveness. You see, being radical means no holding back. Changing the world means all or nothing. Following Jesus means no riding the fence. You can’t serve two masters. You can’t gratify both flesh and spirit. Living with asterisks causes us to live in contradiction.
Here’s a few ways of how I anticipate experiencing life with no asterisks attached.
- Repenting even when it seems it’s the least appealing and least talked about Christian practice in the Church today.
- Forgiving others even when I’m deeply wounded, abused and violated.
- Praying even when I’m too physically weak to kneel.
- Proclaiming the Gospel boldly even when it means losing the acceptance of peers.
- Rebuking a brother or sister even when I run the risk of losing that friendship.
- Believing God’s promises even when my emotions are telling me to do differently.
- Loving my neighbor even when it means an interruption in my daily routine.
- Serving the needy even when the fear of stereotypes and stigmas invade my thoughts.
- Putting others’ needs before mine even when I feel entitled to be served.
- Fearing the Lord even when life is going real smooth, and I’m on cloud 9.
- Surrendering my desires and saying ‘send me’ even when it makes no logical sense.
- Seeking joy even when darkness and suffering surround me.
- Harnessing the authority of Christ given to me even when spiritual warfare is unseen and feels distant.
- Giving grace freely even when I’m tempted to withhold it.
- Trusting God’s good character even when I can’t make sense of a life circumstance.
- Obeying even when it appears as though evildoers are succeeding with their worldly pleasures.
- Casting away condemnation and judgment even when it’s so easy to succumb to self-righteousness.
May the Spirit of God, dwelling within each member of the Body, equip and empower us to live holy righteous lives governed my love and freedom according to the will of the Father. Amen.